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Celebrate Bairnsdale City Oval upgrades
Date of Issue: 
July 1, 2024

User groups and the local community are invited to Bairnsdale’s historic City Oval this month to mark the completion of major upgrades to the precinct.

The East Gippsland Shire Council project has provided a modern, fit-for-purpose female-friendly changeroom and support-staff facilities, promoting inclusivity by accommodating the needs of all participants regardless of gender and ability, and ensuring every player feels valued and respected.

Council is inviting everyone to attend the opening and take a tour of the completed work with Bairnsdale City Oval Committee of Management. This will be followed by an official opening at which locals will be thanked for their continued support and enthusiasm for this initiative.

The opening will be held Thursday 18 July, from 5.00 pm at Bairnsdale City Oval, 20 MacArthur Street.

Bairnsdale City Oval is home to the Bairnsdale Football Netball Club, West Bairnsdale Cricket Club, and the East Gippsland Umpire’s Association. The upgrades are a major component of the masterplan for the oval as part of the Bairnsdale Sporting Facilities Plan.

“Completion of this project lifts the standard of the entire Bairnsdale City Oval complex and enables the oval to be used to its full potential, fostering high-level competition and bringing people together for training, matches or just a friendly evening kickabout,” Mayor Cr Tom Crook said.

Additional key enhancements include the expansion of the existing oval to 130m x 110m, along with a 4-metre run-off for improved player safety. This transformation has improved the quality of the cricket ground and provides the opportunity for more people to play sport.

The expansion of Peppercorn Park provides for an improved second oval that caters for junior AFL (up to under 15s), club-level cricket, and includes a top-quality surface for all-ages training and a variety of sports and activities.

A new irrigation system has been installed to keep the grass in good condition. The newly laid turf playing surface will need to bed-in over winter and will be available to use after a final top-dressing in spring 2024.

New LED floodlighting was included at Peppercorn Park Oval in December 2023, as part of the Bairnsdale City Oval Upgrades Project.

Recently completed enhancements include a new hard wicket cricket pitch, which meets Cricket Australia standards, aligned to a north-south alignment in the centre of the oval. The installation of AFL goalposts alongside the cricket facilities adds functionality to the ground.

This provides a range of benefits including:

• Catering for multiple games at the same time supporting junior AFL and cricket carnivals. In particular, this supports the scheduling of the fast-growing female AFL and cricket participation in East Gippsland.

• Doubling the capacity for training, as the premier AFL and cricket facility, Bairnsdale City Oval is highly used, which leads to increased wear and tear. Training on the second oval supports ground recovery to improve ground quality on match days.

“Council is grateful for the financial support of Sport and Recreation Victoria, and support from the Bairnsdale City Oval Committee of Management, and Bairnsdale Football Netball Club, which was invaluable in realising our vision of creating inclusive and accessible recreational spaces for all members of the community,” Cr Crook said.

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