Damage to sporting fields

Armidale Regional Council

Armidale Regional Council would like to call-out the ‘Muppets’ that decided to drive a vehicle on the saturated Wicklow playing fields and take an off-road motorbike on Harris Park over the weekend causing considerable damage.

Outdoor spaces across the Armidale region are water logged after above average rainfall has fallen consistently during the last month. Community sport has been impacted due to the closure of sporting fields and council’s maintenance schedule has been heavily impacted because parks and gardens staff cannot mow saturated areas.

General Manager James Roncon says the five minutes of so called fun these Muppets think they are having has a financial impact on council’s already stretched budget.

“We are very proud of our parks, gardens and playing fields, as is the community. So when someone deliberately damages them for no reason it is extremely disappointing,” said Mr Roncon.

“Currently many of our sporting fields are closed due to the saturated ground. We don’t like to close the fields but damage from playing on wet fields can cost several thousands and involve heavy rolling, aerating, top dressing, sowing, fertilising and extra irrigation.

These senseless acts have potentially impacted community sport and left the fields unplayable for some time. Not to mention diverting council’s limited funds to pay for the rehabilitation of the damaged surfaces.”

Council is asking the community to be on the look-out for this type of behaviour and report it to the Police.

“We have a photo of the head Muppet on their motorbike at Harris Park and are hopeful that they can be identified,” said Mr Roncon.

“As a community we should have a zero tolerance approach to this type of behaviour.”

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