HEPBURN Shire Council Mayor Don Henderson says it is highly unlikely Creswick Football Netball Club will be forced to shift any home games away from the troubled Doug Lindsay Recreation Reserve.
The Wickers had feared their remaining four Central Highlands Football League fixtures might be in danger after the council had advised against using the facility because of ongoing drainage issues.
But Cr Henderson said that instruction was simply for training and all matches were planned to go ahead for season 2014.
“(Creswick) can play on the ground, but they are asked not to do their training sessions on the ground and we will review it later,” he said.
“It’s highly probable they will be able to play all of their games if we are careful about training on it.”
Cr Henderson said the current drainage issues were largely because of a decision in September 2012 to fix issues that had then arisen with the ground’s surface.
The mayor pointed to council minutes, which detail a carried motion to complete remedial works on the surface at an estimated cost of $285,000.
This is $200,000 cheaper than the original motion moved by Cr Henderson, for what he says would have a been a much more thorough fix.
Cr Henderson said Creswick Football Netball Club had strongly lobbied the council to vote in favour of the cheaper option, which was eventually carried.
“Council debated the issue hotly and a motion to fix it and put proper drainage pipes through it was defeated,” he said.
“The condition of the ground was their choice of option. Admittedly council made the decision, but the decision was strongly lobbied for this fix to be done by Creswick Football Netball Club.”
But Wickers president Peter Considine said neither of the options debated by the council included addressing drainage.
Cr Henderson also hit back at claims by Wickers president Peter Considine that the council had failed to work closely enough with the club.
“We have certainly never not met with the football club,” he said.
“We have worked to set up a management committee there. (They have) representatives on the steering committee to set down rules of incorporation for the body that runs Doug Lindsay Recreation Reserve.
“The footy club has got a couple of positions on there. I can’t see what the problem is.”
Creswick’s next home game is against Buninyong on July 5.
The Wickers are then scheduled to play against Dunnstown on July 19, Beaufort on August 2 and Newlyn on August 16.