Ballarat gift should move immediately to either Mars Stadium or Marty Busch Oval

MOVING AGAIN: The Ballarat gift will have a new home in 2018 due to works at the Eastern oval.
MOVING AGAIN: The Ballarat gift will have a new home in 2018 due to works at the Eastern oval.

 Better locations

I read with great confusion that the Ballarat Gift (a foot running, non contact sport) will be held at the Wendouree Reserve (cricket/football ground) in 2018, due to the unnecessary resurfacing work at the Eastern Oval.

This is a fully required cricket ground in summer, with its major turf wicket (now that Eastern Oval is out again) on the Wendouree Reserve, being used by the Wendouree Cricket Club and its opponents.

It staggers me that the fully refurbished Marty Busch Oval (Sebastopol football ground) that does nothing in the summer (as it has no turf wicket, or for that matter, no synthetic wicket either on it) sits idle all summer.

It has been upgraded to one of, if not the best playing surface (running surface) in the council, and should be used for the Ballarat Gift.

It has a great ground (surface), amenity blocks and upstairs room in its multipurpose building, adequate shading, spectator facilities and is fully lockable with a fence around the entire complex.

So why, why, is it not being used for this running event, to leave our cricket ground at Wendouree alone, for its primary summer purpose: cricket?

The excuse of being too far out of the city centre is rubbish, because Wendouree is the same if not further out of the city centre than Sebastopol.

The original Ballarat Gift was for decades at the old Northern Oval (now Mars Stadium) so why can't it go back there as well.

The council has stated it must be used for major events.

Isn't Ballarat Gift a major event? 

This decision to use Wendouree is a conflicting/double-up use of Ballarat facilities, and should immediately be reviewed to move it to either Mars Stadium or Marty Busch Oval.

Donald A. Jacobsson, Canadian

Thanks for ongoing support

I wish to publically thank the many people and businesses who have supported me over the last three years to raise funds for Br Frank Hennessy and the Edmund Rice Community working in the district of Ermera, Timor-Leste.

Four years ago, I had the opportunity to visit this area and see first hand the work being done to improve the standard of living through education, both learning and amenities, and to raise health standards by concerted injection programs against local diseases, to enabling maternity nurses visit pregnant women in the isolated villages in the hills, where morbidity at birth is common. The local people too are encouraged to become self sufficient through the guided establishment of coffee plantations and vanilla bean crops, while ladies gather for sewing and card making classes. 

In recent weeks however, I have been notified by Br Damien Price, Christian Bros Coordinator of Developing Nations, that the Edmund Rice Community will be withdrawing from ministry in Timor-Leste at the end of 2018, due to the province's inability to provide a community of Brothers after this time.

Last Sunday, 22 October, a final fundraiser was held at the Regent Cinema, raising the sum of $1,780, a wonderful and much appreciated outcome. This could not have been possible but for the overwhelming generosity from the Regent Cinema, the various businesses which I support and who donated generously in return, and the people of Ballarat and district who support the day. Also a thank you to my friends at Ballarat Goldfieds Probus Club.

With each activity, although small, approximately four thousand dollars has been donated by a small group of Ballarat supporters. These funds have and will aid some of the poorest people in the world who live just an hours flight from Australian shores. My biggest disappointment during this time was to be made aware that one of the biggest businesses in this city where I have spent many dollars, has a policy of not donating to causes outside of Australia. Perhaps an appropriate time to be reminded of the mantra of Ermera, Timor-Leste, "From little things, big things grow".

Liz Hanrahan, Dunnstown