Members of the TVFC committee met with Kerry Irwin and Gabrielle McBain from Baw Baw Shire on Wednesday the 30th August, at the shire’s offices in Warragul, to discuss a range of issues associated with the usage of the Trafalgar Soccer grounds.

The meeting was beneficial to both parties with the majority of conversation centred upon the process used by BBSC in evaluating applications from sporting clubs to use shire owned and managed sporting facilities.

From a club’s perspective it was important to clarify the process used by BBSC.  In this particular case, the TFNC applied to BBSC for an alternative sporting venue to train upon.  The BBSC Recreation team then sought feedback from the Trafalgar Parks and Gardens team regarding the capacity of the soccer grounds to cope with the requested additional usage.  Following the advice provided by this team, the BBSC Recreation department then either approves or declines the application.  In this case the application was approved.

It must be said that there appeared to be some contradicting accounts of the Trafalgar Parks and Gardens team recommendation, with both parties reporting conflicting conversations.

TVFC took the opportunity to outline its major concerns regarding the handling of the situation.  Issues such as;

  • timely and clear communication
  • the capacity of the grounds to cope with additional usage during the soccer season
  • the fact that the couch grass has been stunted/dead over the past 2 summers
  • consultation with TVFC as a paying tenant and significant financial stake holder
  • scheduling “external usage” on the same nights as TVFC’s training
  • TVFC’s intention to host a GSL South Div. final/grand final

BBSC also took the opportunity to raise concerns of its own. For example, the response from TVFC within the local media.

By the end of the meeting BBSC’s process was reviewed and recommendations made for improvements. Concerns were respectfully raised and received by both parties and an understanding reached that TVFC do not want additional ground use during its scheduled training nights.

Whilst the events of the past week have been extremely taxing for all involved, it is hoped that all parties can learn from the experience, so that such a scenario can be handled better in the future.

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