Friday, January 18, 2019

Football windfall with $1 million grant for upgrade of South Hobart Oval

Photo:  Andrew Wilkie MHR, South Hobart president Vicki Morton, and Hobart City Council deputy mayor and alderman Helen Burnet at today's announcement of the $1 million grant [PlessPix]

The Federal Government will grant $1 million for the upgrade of facilities at the South Hobart Oval, which is currently used for home games by NPL Tasmania club South Hobart.

Andrew Wilkie MHR, the Independent Member for Denison, secured the grant after representations from South Hobart FC.

“I’ve been lobbying the Federal Government for funds to upgrade the D’Arcy Street ground for some time and I’m thrilled that today the Government has committed $1 million towards the project,” Mr Wilkie said.

“This grant will allow the South Hobart Football Club to install match-quality lighting at the ground to hold evening games.

“It will also go towards a new multi-purpose pavilion with facilities for the home team including access for people with a disability, as well as a social room for players, visiting teams and match officials.

“The grant will also fund dugouts, a new canteen and entry booth, and a new electronic and multimedia enabled scoreboard.

“In addition the ground will also now be home to media facilities for the first time, allowing local and visiting media to work in a safe and comfortable environment with full audio and visual capability.

“Supporting local sport is so important because it promotes healthy communities and in particular gives kids a safe environment with access to good role models.” 

Photo (L-R):  Helen Burnet (Deputy Mayor, Hobart City Council), Vicki Morton (President, South Hobart FC), Andrew Wilkie MHR, Ken Morton (Senior coach of South Hobart FC) and Daniel Brown (former South Hobart FC captain and now assistant coach) [PlessPix]

It is not yet known whether the grant will go to the Hobart City Council or direct to South Hobart FC, but discussions will be held about this soon.

With this grant and the proposed developments, the South Hobart club is increasingly appearing in some quarters as the ‘de facto’ owners of the ground, which may not please some other clubs.

South Hobart FC are apparently known by the Hobart City Council as a ‘seasonal hirer’ of the South Hobart Oval.

As such, the club is required to complete appropriate paper work and then to book the ground for the entire season to coincide with the senior and junior games they will play there, as well as for senior and junior training sessions held there.

The hiring costs are believed to be $40 an hour for training and $98 an hour for senior games.

South Hobart are, apparently, also regarded as ‘traditional hirers’ of South Hobart Oval, which possibly prevents any other club from getting their foot in the door and obtaining exclusive use of the ground.

After the $1 million upgrade is completed, the ground would certainly be a desirable venue for home matches by football clubs.

Other clubs may well be interested in using the ground for their home matches, so clarification is needed as to whether South Hobart have exclusive rights to the ground or whether it is available to the highest bidder.

The important thing is, I guess, that football overall will benefit from the $1 million and any territorial disputes about ground ownership or exclusivity may seem petty.

The South Hobart club is also currently at loggerheads with many dog owners, who still insist that dogs should be able to be walked on the ground.

South Hobart FC have complained about dog droppings being left on the pitch and dogs urinating on the pitch.

Photo:  Damage to the pitch at South Hobart Oval from urinating dogs [PlessPix]

The proposal to install adequate floodlighting so that night matches can be played at South Hobart Oval will almost certainly lead to complaints from residents.

The same happened at KGV Park when floodlighting was installed there.

A compromise solution would probably involve a time being specified when the lights would have to be turned off, as was the case at KGV Park.

It’s a good day when football receives a grant of $1 million.

Let’s hope it’s handled intelligently and appropriately because ultimately it should be the game that benefits from such largesse.

South Hobart are certainly to be commended for their forward planning, proactive strategies and ability to lobby effectively.


Debbie Banks has been appointed as the new  Women's Development Officer by Football Federation Tasmania.

Banks attended today's announcement at South Hobart Oval of a $1 million grant for the upgrade of the Oval.

Photo:  Debbie Banks (right) with Football Federation Tasmania's competitions manager, Glen McNeill [PlessPix]


Brian Young said...

It will be interesting to see if this becomes another "Cadburys" á la Tony Abbott after the Federal election. Great news if it does go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Great news for the ground.
Question for the clubs out there. why does the youth competition start so late May 4 I believe. Why so late, surely the youth games could start earlier as I have no doubt that there will be cancelations and games lost as clubs have to rearrange catch up games. There's no more KO games anymore for the kids at least AFL, cricket and netball have finals.
I know my kids used to look forward to KO games as some of the best teams used to draw each other and one off games can produce different results to roster games.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Vicki for doing the ground work to make this happen. Best if the Council don't get the money as it took them 5 or 6 years to get Wellesley done.
Why haven't FFT secured money for their own upgrade of facilities at KGV.It poses the question What do they do inside that building at grove Rd.
If Beach made the NPL I can see them wanting to use Darcy St and I also believe that this also preparing South to enter the Tier 2 NPl.
why was the FFT reps there? surely they should be embarrassed as their employers seem not to have a skill set to deliver what Vicki is delivering.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree. Vicki has managed to get significant funding for Wellesley and now Darcy Street through effective lobbying and developing relationships with politicians, whereas the fft clowns don't even seem to be able to find/advocate for money to paint the change rooms and toilets at KGV. They should have been too embarrassed to show up for thi as

Anonymous said...

What is "match quality lighting"?

Anonymous said...

If match quality lighting means "like the Blundstone Arena lights" at Bellerive, let's hope it's another "Cadbury's a la Tony Abbott special".

Anonymous said...

Vicki has effectively lobbied and developed relationships with politicians, but what about community support?

Anonymous said...

Great news announcement. I am still waiting almost 2yrs now. The ground needs seating on the eastern side also probably similar to what exists at the Domain Athletic Centre. What's going on here?

Anonymous said...

Two years have almost passed so what's going on here? The ground also should have some seating on the eastern side probably similar to that at the Domain Athletic Centre. HCC get some action happening before the ostrich mentality buggers everything as it normally does with this bighead little result capital city.