Footy could go. Water crisis sports threat

Hamish Heard
Torquay footballers are facing a 2007 season without home games after a council decision to replace Spring Creek Reserve’s playing surface left it parched and bare.
Surf Coast Shire last month stripped the oval of its couch and replaced it with rye grass but a lack of spring rain has combined with stage-two water restrictions to prevent growth.
Club secretary and cricket pitch curator Mike Coleman said the oval would be off-limits to football next year unless the shire took emergency action.
“The surface is already in real trouble,” Mr Coleman said.
“The first thing we need to do is get an exemption (from stage two water restrictions) from Barwon Water so we can water in the rye grass.
“But there’s still the real possibility that it will have to be re sown late March or early April with the possibility of no football being played at the ground next season at all.”
The ground had already lost 40 per cent of its ground cover, causing topsoil to blow away, Mr Coleman said.
“It shouldn’t have happened but it did and, all due respect to the council, they couldn’t have realised we were going to be hit with the next stage of water restrictions,” Mr Coleman said.
“And you would have thought we would have got the spring rains.”
Mr Coleman predicted the ground would be unsafe for cricket after Christmas unless soaking rain blanketed the region.
“When we go to stage three water restrictions there’ll be no practice wickets and if we get stage four restrictions which, if I was being cynical I would say will probably happen after Christmas, there will be no cricket at all.”
A Surf Coast council memo seen by the Ind-ependent said Barwon Water last week refused requests for exemptions to water the ground.
The memo stated the shire “most certainly” would not have undertaken the oval renovation in September if Barwon Water had informed council of looming stage two bans.