When the pavilion at the Williamstown Cricket Ground was rebuilt about 12 years ago, Council also installed a huge water tank under the oval for storing stormwater for irrigation purposes over the summer.
The oval was resown with turf but a shortfall in funding meant the ground was not properly renovated.
During wet winters, the playing surface for football was not up to scratch.
So much so, that some competing clubs refuse to play there in the winter peak.
The Williamstown Football Club has been pleading with the Council to bring forward the renovation of the ground from its previous schedule of 2022-23.
I am pleased that my colleagues have seen the benefit of bringing forward this project and all going well, that should be approved in the 2020-21 Budget.
It’s a project that will cost about $2 million but it is the peak sporting ground in Hobsons Bay.
I know it will involve a bit of disruption to the Williamstown Cricket Club but Council will endeavour to make it as smooth as possible.
While it is likely the WCC will play more games at Bayside College over the summer, one pleasant side effect is that the cricket club will be able to take full advantage of some very nice social rooms at the school site, which have just been completed.
On top of the ground renovation, Council has brought forward the upgrade of the cricket nets from the 2021-22 Budget to this year to help the cricket club.
This $270,000 project was raised by the WCC during the community submissions process late last year.
Covid-19 has meant winter sports were largely cancelled this year and there is every likelihood the cricket season will be delayed this summer.
Council would normally begin the ground renovation in late October but with no sport being played on it, there is a good chance works will start in September if Covid-19 doesn’t cause further restrictions.
That could mean footballers get on the ground earlier that what would have been possible next season.
I want to thank Clint Rippon and his board for putting a strong case to the Council earlier this year but also commend the persistent lobbying of club CEO Jason Reddick.