New cricket fence up to test

Narrandera Shire Mayor Neville Kschenka and Narrandera Shire Council General Manager George Cowan with a sample of the potential new fence at the Marie Bashir Park.

As part of the Stronger Country Communities grant funding, the Narrandera Shire Council will seek to upgrade the fence around the cricket oval in Marie Bashir Park.

In the interim, Council has put in place a testing piece of fence to see how it fares in local conditions. According to Council’s Deputy General Manager Infrastructure, Julian Geddes, the council is currently looking at two options.

“The sample we have currently is a solid steel, powdercoated frame with a recycled plastic solid picket. They’re not hollow like the last ones were,” Mr Geddes said. “We’re also getting a metal one as well.”

A sample of the metal fence will also be established at the oval in the next few weeks.

“We are currently leaning towards the plastic one, for a few reasons. The metal ones rust and the advantage of the plastic one is if it is damaged, the pickets can be replaced individually. With the metal ones you need to replace the whole panel.”

Damage is a factor that is weighing heavily on the minds of Council. The last fence suffered terribly from vandalism and Council is hoping to look for a more vandal-proof option this time around.

“We have had council staff test the sample fence with a golf club, an iron bar and a sledgehammer. So far it’s holding up pretty well. I think they’re enjoying themselves; it’s not every day you get to wilfully damage public property,” Mr Geddes said. “When the fence is built, regardless of what the material is, it will be concreted in.”

The fence will be built in part using grant money from the Stronger Country Communities Fund. Narrandera Council applied for the grant, which will total roughly $760,000.

“But all the projects will be the best part of $1 million,” Mr Geddes said. “We’ll have other partners as well.”

Mr Geddes said it was a timely reminder that round two of the Stronger Country Communities funding would be available on April 12. However, applications would only be open for eight weeks afterwards.

“The projects need to meet the criteria and be costed. If the community have any ideas or concepts or projects they can start to approach us about that,” Mr Geddes said.

The previous fence was built through the efforts of the Narrandera Cricket Club. Narrandera Cricket Club Incorporated was responsible for obtaining grant funding through Cricket NSW and the community for the existing fence, as well as many of them volunteering their time and labour to install it.

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