Proctor Park is a place in need

After a rain-affected 2016 in which the city’s major football complex was frequently shut, Bathurst Regional Council has reaffirmed that proposed upgrades to Proctor Park are still on the agenda.

PROBLEM: A waterlogged field one at Proctor Park in 2016.

PROBLEM: A waterlogged field one at Proctor Park in 2016.

Proctor Park is frequently waterlogged due to its clay base, meaning the ground closes more than Bathurst District Football would like. 

In April 2015, council announced a proposed $7.42 million plan to upgrade the city’s main football complex, including redeveloping the grandstand, resealing the main car park, creating a new artificial turf field and over 10 new fields. 

But none of the works have started at the facility. 

Bathurst mayor Graeme Hanger said council understands the benefits that improved facilities would bring for football in the city.

“Council views the upgrades and ongoing staged development of the Proctor Park football precinct as high priority,” he said.

“Council has and will continue to improve and develop sporting facilities for all sports in Bathurst, as funding resources permit, and the development of the Proctor Park football precinct is no exception.

“Council has been working with the user groups to develop football facilities within Bathurst and will provide $2 million within the 2017-18 management plan for the redevelopment of three turf fields this year.

“In addition, council spends in the vicinity of $55,000 each year in ongoing maintenance of Proctor Park.”

More recently, Cr Hanger said, council has committed to and invested in significant upgrades to the facility, including appropriate design works for stormwater drainage, infield sub-surface drainage, contouring, irrigation fencing and turfing of three fields.

Western NSW Mariners FC under 20s coach Mark Rooke believes the situation with the complex is like beating your head against a wall. 

“I have no idea [where the proposal is at], to be honest. It’s disappointing. Every other sport gets what they need,” he said.

All representative football was played at Alec Lamberton Field and club officials were against any possible move to Proctor Park in 2012.

Bruce Rooke told the Western Advocate five years ago that representative teams playing at Proctor Park would disrupt the schedule of local clubs and deteriorate the surface of field one, which are both current issues facing the football facility.