DISCUSSIONS about rejuvenating Horsham City Oval have started among Wimmera leaders.
Horsham Recreation Reserve advisory committee members were discussing possible improvements to the precinct at a meeting last month.
The committee talked about the possible closure of Hocking Street, the relocation of the southern boundary fence and improved parking on site.
Horsham Rural City Council are also engaging a consultant to link the City Oval to the Wimmera River.
However, in the imminent future there are plans to install an electronic scoreboard and to replace carpet in the changing rooms.
Horsham Recreation Reserve advisory committee chairman Rod Dumnsey said the City Oval’s future was an “open book” and the discussion was a promising start.
“The facility was built in the 1970’s on top of very old facilities. I think the plans will take awhile, but we have to start somewhere,” he said.
“We have discussed closing Hocking Street, which will allow the oval to be widened and we have also spoke about improving parking and disabled parking at the ground.
“The facilities are not up to standard for women’s football and the clubrooms don’t have disabled access.”
Horsham Rural City councillor David Grimble said the committee created a master plan ten years ago that discussed bringing the oval up to AFL standards.
He said attracting training games could be a great opportunity for the region.
Cr Grimble said the oval reflects its premier’s status, however, the facilities need an upgrade.
He said it was important that council did not narrow the scope of work during its discussions.
“Council is engaging a consultant to undertake works in the precinct next to the oval,” he said.
“It’s important we don’t narrow the scope of that work. We need to seize the opportunity of what can be achieved at that location or a different location.”
Councillor John Robinson said council could consider consulting the community about moving the City Oval to a different location.
Cr Robinson said the recent loss of table tennis from the proposed multi-purpose sports stadium – and the Horsham Amateur Basketball Association not confirmed – creates an opportunity to combine other sports.
“It would create significantly more horsepower in an argument for funding and open up an area at the door step of the central business district,” he said.
“We should look at the broader opportunities created in that precinct by moving the football club and its operations to a new location.”