Funds shed light on sports fields

LIGHTS FOR SAFETY: Pictured announcing more lighting for local parks federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare, Ballina Shire Mayor Phillip Silver, Ballina Sports Club president Gary Blackman and Page MP Janelle Saffin.
LIGHTS FOR SAFETY: Pictured announcing more lighting for local parks federal Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare, Ballina Shire Mayor Phillip Silver, Ballina Sports Club president Gary Blackman and Page MP Janelle Saffin.

BALLINA sports fields will be safer with Ballina Shire Council receiving a $90,000 grant for lighting under the Federal Government's Safer Suburbs program.

Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, made the announcement last Friday at Saunders Oval - home of the Ballina Soccer Club - with Page MP Janelle Saffin, and Ballina Shire Mayor Phillip Silver.

Ballina Sports Club president Gary Blackman welcomed the announcement.

He said the lights to be installed would not only help with safety with the many sportspeople who use the oval, but also help with security.

The sports club has been targeted by vandals over the years.

The funding will be used to install 11 light poles with integrated solar and lighting equipment - four each at Saunders Oval and Bi-Centennial Park in Ballina and three at Elizabeth Ann Brown Park in Alstonville.

"This is a big win for our community, especially for the sporting clubs that use these grounds," Ms Saffin said.

"I want to thank all the parents and kids who worked with me and Ballina Shire Council to get this done.

"During the last election the Labor Government promised this funding. I'm pleased to see it being delivered, and I thank Ballina Shire Council for all their hard work in developing this project."

Mr Clare said there was a clear need to improve lighting at these grounds.

"The Saunders Oval fields are used as a pedestrian route but there is no existing lighting. Bi Centennial Park is remote, studded with trees and poorly lit. Elizabeth Ann Brown Park is popular with teenagers at night but is also poorly lit," Mr Clare said.

"By installing these lights we will make the grounds safer for sporting clubs and for residents."

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