Walking does wonders Youth program granted funding

10 Jan 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Steve Kelly Works start at North Wang: footy is locked in for June NORTH Wangaratta Football Netball Club has been guaranteed it will be able to stage its first game on home soil on the Queens Birthday weekend bringing an end to a two-year contamination saga. Work began at the recreation reserve yesterday where a layer of lead contaminated soil is being removed and replaced by fresh dirt, an excavation costing about $230,000. Tenders for the next stage BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ nemedia.com.au of the oval remediation closed last week and this will involve new drainage, irrigation, soil replacement, turf, new fencing, player shelters and goal posts. The State Government contributed $3 million to cater for associated costs of the incident including the remediation works. New lighting and a clubhouse renovation will also help to lift the club off the canvas from near extinction that resulted from a closure of the ground in May 2016. Soil contamination caused by lead was found at the recreation reserve resulting from lead shot gun pellets legally discharged from firearms at the adjacent shooting range. The practice had been authorised and in place by the Wangaratta Clay Target Club since the 1960s. Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was swift to suspend activities at both the football netball club and the gun club making the venues off limits to public access. However, it will be more than a two-year hiatus by the time a game is played at the recreation reserve, a great social and financial impact to the NWFNC. Incoming NWFNC president Gary OKeefe is remaining optimistic about the clubs future despite a cost of $120,000 in lost revenue and it not being able to field a reserves football side in 2018. Continued page 7 From page 1 He said the club is on the brink of appointing a new coach and is confident to start the season. A number one goal is survival and they have guaranteed that well be able to play our first home game on the Queens Birthday weekend, he said. We have about 30 players which well rotate through the senior team which will be better than last year as we were stretched for numbers. Mr OKeefe told the Chronicle that the ground will be widened by five metres either side and the goals realigned. He said new lighting and a renovation to the clubrooms thanks to sponsor Aggenbachs Floors it will be again good to be a part of if they can get through the year. EPA inspectors were at the work site yesterday taking photographs as contractors removed a layer of soil to depths of between 50mm and 200m, or about 1200m3 in volume. Soil tests will take place over the coming days to ensure all contaminated soil has been removed. Enviropacific are carrying out the excavation works while Golders Associates are undertaking the testing. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) said she was pleased to see the project finally get under way. I understand this has been a frustrating process for the football club and I certainly expect that these works will allow the club to get back to using their ground sooner rather than later, she said. Throughout the process, the priority was to protect the public and minimise any risk they might have faced from the contaminated soil. This highly complex process has required the active involvement of many groups including Wangaratta City Council, EPA, and the local community who have had to be flexible and patient and I thank them. Caption Text: ACTION ON THE GROUND: Steven Whiting and Rebecca Poole from Golders Associates will test the remaining soil for contamination once the top layer is removed. PHOTO: Steve Kelly DIGGING IN: Heavy machinery began the task yesterday of removing contaminated top soil from the North Wangaratta football ground. PHOTO: Steve Kelly Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.