Councillors applauded a move to restore the powers of sporting clubs regarding play on rain-affected fields at last night’s Maitland City Council meeting.

Cr Lisa Tierney, who moved that the draft Wet Weather Ground Closure Procedure be noted, said clubs had suffered unduly where Newcastle and Cessnock teams were largely unaffected.

“I think we’ve been way too hard on our sporting clubs,” Cr Tierney said.

I think some common sense had to prevail.”

Some, however, felt the $500 penalty for damaged grounds was unfair.

“To fine our sports clubs, our user groups, without any consultation is not a conciliatory approach,” Cr Peter Garnham said.

“I don’t know of a team out there that wouldn’t try and mend the ground themselves.”

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