Structure removal puts season at risk

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Concerns for the 2017 baseball season in Port Hedland are growing as the Town of Port Hedland has removed structures a month before games are set to start.

Dugouts and sections of the spectators’ shade structure at the Marie Mayland Reserve oval were removed this month after the Town identified them as potential risks to users because of the structures’ age.

Former president of the association Peter Starlight said while games could still go ahead, the removal had put the season at risk because of the importance of the structures to players’ and spectators’ safety.

“The structures not only protect players and spectators from foul balls and the weather but they keep equipment locked up that could be used dangerously in the wrong hands,” he said.

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“The oval is the most utilised in South Hedland ... but all we hear is there’s no money for an upgrade, yet the Town seems to have plenty of money for upgrading the Rovers’ oval with new signs and revamping the South Hedland oval.”

When asked about the structures’ removal, a Town spokeswoman said the structures had been removed in consultation with the stakeholders. “There are insufficient funds available to renew/upgrade all structures,” she said.

“However, $60,000 has been spent to date on removing those structures which were considered unsafe and renewing/renovating those structures which have been retained.

“The safety of the public and user groups has been the driving force behind the project from inception and that was the reason that the decision was made to modify the original scope of works in consultation with the Port Hedland Baseball Association, installing hard roofing products to all shelters to remain on site.”

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