QUEANBEYAN’S premier sporting facility Seiffet Oval is in “desperate” need of more than $1 million worth of repairs and renovations.
That’s according to Queanbeyan City Council which has made securing the funding from the federal government one of its four priorities in the lead-up to next month’s election.
Improvements to Seiffert’s playing surface and irrigation system, spectator facilities, amenities and building upgrades have all been flagged by council as requiring immediate attention.
Council resumed control of Seiffert Oval in 2011 after the Queanbeyan Leagues Club’s lease to exclusive use of the facility expired.
But Queanbeyan Blues secretary Tom Ebsworth says the ground’s condition, in particular the quality of the playing surface, has only deteriorated since then.
“If you look out over the ground now you can see all the different sorts of grass there,” Ebsworth said. “That was never the case before.
“There was always a really good cover of top quality grass but not now. The quality of the playing surface was what people who came here to play used to speak about.
“The dressing sheds are still as good as you’ll find in country football but they’ve just let the ground itself go.”
Ebsworth also pointed to the dilapidated condition of the toilets, repairs to the grandstand and additional ground security as major concerns.
In outlining council’s federal election priorities, Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall described Seiffert as being in urgent need of upwards of $1 million in funding to ensure it remains one of Queanbeyan’s sporting centrepieces.
A council spokesperson said the facility’s current condition was due to years of “deterioration” following the Canberra Raiders relocation to Bruce Stadium in 1989.
But council denied the task of up keeping Seiffert had proven more onerous than initially expected.
“Deterioration [at Seiffert Oval] has occurred over past decades since the Raiders relocated to Canberra,” they said.
“Council was fully aware of the condition of Seiffert Oval and has said from day one, a large investment was needed to restore Seiffert Oval and [council] would be approaching both State and Federal Governments for assistance.”
Council said the ground’s problems did not pose safety concerns for players or spectators but did limit how the facility could be used.
“A number of rooms [at the ground] are locked and cannot be used because they do not meet today’s standards,” the spokesperson said.
Ebsworth, meanwhile, said the most important upgrades could be undertaken at a far lower cost than council’s $1 million funding request.