Sports clubs will decide if wet grounds are fit for play under a trial system.
Nanjing Night Net

Ground closures will still be controlled by Maitland City Council Monday to Friday, but the clubs will manage them on weekends and public holidays.

The draft Wet Weather Ground Closure Procedure before council tomorrow night includes a wet weather ground assessment form that clubs will fill out and sign off on.

Council staff will assess the grounds on Mondays and if damaged will fine clubs $500 plus expenses for any repairs.

Maitland and District Schoolboys Rugby League president Dave Watson said it was a win for common sense.

“I’ll be ecstatic if the control comes back to the user groups after Tuesday night,” he said.

“We’re not going to destroy our grounds; we depend on them.”

Weeks of frustration and numerous complaints to the council has forced a rethink on wet-ground closures.

In response to this the council has reviewed the procedures in relation to blanket closures.

“Council has received a number of complaints and negative media coverage in recent months regarding council’s current grounds closures procedure,” report author Emily Morgan said.

“The newly developed guideline aims to empower the sporting community to have increased control over the grounds closure process for weekend fixtures.”

The procedure will be effective from July 13 and operate as a trial for the remainder of 2012, through summer, before a review ahead of winter 2013.

The draft policy stipulates that if ground users have any reservations about the condition before play a wet weather assessment form must be completed and forwarded to the recreation planning and development officer by 5pm the following Monday.

Any club found to be using a closed ground Monday to Friday will be subject to a penalty of $100.

If that use has damaged the ground an additional $500 penalty may apply.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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