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North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve

The project to remediate North Wangaratta Oval is complete.

All that stands between footballers returning to the ground is the time it will take for grass to grow. Rye grass is currenty covering the ground, with couch grass sprigs planted in late October 2018 set to provide summer coverage.

It follows three years of the oval being out of action, due to the discovery of lead contaminated soil.

An estimated 1200m3 of contaminated soil has been removed from the reserve and placed at the adjacent gun club.

Testing by consultants confirmed all contaminated soil has been removed from the recreation reserve, with this validated by the Environmental Auditor.

Local Contractors Gordon Gibson Nominees have carried out the oval remediation works, which have included new drainage, irrigation, fencing, player shelters and goal posts, as well as new soil and grass. The grass that has been planted is rye grass, which will hold the soil together until couch grass is planted in October.

Former Mayor Ken Clarke OAM said it was a relief to get to this point.

“This has been a long, challenging process and the North Wangaratta Football Netball Club have been extremely patient and understanding throughout,” he said.

“It was the first project of its kind in Victoria so in many ways it has been unchartered waters the whole way along.”

Cr Clarke said Council would work with AFL North East Border and North Wangaratta Football Netball Club to decide on a date when footballers can return to the oval for training and matches.

Council is also in the early stages of grant applications for new lights, female friendly facilities (change rooms) and netball courts at North Wangaratta Recreation Reserve.

The next stage of the North Wangaratta Remediation project will involve an assessment of the contaminated soil at the gun club, together with a clean-up plan for the site.

Council is managing the entire project, which has received $3 million in State Government funding.

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