Barnard Park not pitch perfect

Local cricketers walk on the oval at the official opening. Image Emma Kirk.
Local cricketers walk on the oval at the official opening. Image Emma Kirk.

The City of Busselton has defended the condition of Barnard Park after the cricket pitch and outfield was labelled a ‘disgrace’. 

Margaret River Hawks Cricket Club captain Paul Tognolini spoke out following the clubs win over St Mary’s at the oval on December 30.

“It seems a shame that the City of Busselton, after constructing a wonderful Mecca of cricket on the foreshore, have failed to provide a sporting ground befitting the expenditure,” he said.

“The pitch is clearly flawed in its construction, the outfield potentially dangerous. If a council can’t see the benefits of a progressive cricket culture, I’m dumbfounded – it’s a place where opposition teams would rather avoid.”

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the City and the Busselton-Margaret River Cricket Association hadn’t received any complaint from the teams or players regarding the grounds.

“The city invests significant resources into maintaining cricket facilities across the municipality and notes that many cricket clubs across the broader South West region maintain their own pitches without any local government support,” he said.

The $3.129 million redevelopment of Barnard Park was a key feature of the Busselton Foreshore Master Plan, funded by Royalties for Regions, the City and the Department of Sport and Recreation. 

Yallingup-Oddbods Club president Matty Braid said there were mitigating factors for the state of the ground.

“The ground has been slowly improving since the bore broke last season and the surface was vandalised at the start of this season,” he said.

“The facilities are the best in the area and the opportunities we have at Barnard Park are modernising our small club.”