By Jessica Howard
Bright lights have been switched on at Masons Lane in Bacchus Marsh, marking a significant milestone for local sporting clubs and user groups.
The old portable lighting system meant the Bacchus Marsh Soccer and Dog Obedience Clubs were forced to use torches and car headlights to illuminate the oval during the winter months.
Moorabool Shire Council Mayor, Paul Tatchell and Cesar Melhem MLC (Member for Western Metropolitan), switched on the new 50 lux training lights on Tuesday, April 17.
“The lighting upgrade will provide significant benefits to the Bacchus Marsh Soccer Club and the Bacchus Marsh Dog Obedience Club who are winter users of the oval,” Mr Tatchell said.
“I was here five years ago when we opened these club rooms, it’s a fantastic facility and the volunteers of these clubs have battled on in the dark regardless”.
The Masons Lane Sportsground Lighting Development project, costing $240,000, also included a power upgrade for the site to provide the platform for future lighting installations at the reserve.
Moorabool Shire Council contributed $140,000 towards the project, with $100,000 funded through Sport & Recreation Victoria.
“The new lights will provide much brighter and more uniform lighting across the oval surface allowing the full oval area to be utilised in a safe manner on nights throughout the week,” Mr Tatchell said.
“This will help cater for their growing participation numbers within these clubs, and also provide opportunities for other sporting and community groups to access a lit oval space.”
Dianne from the Bacchus Marsh Dog Obedience Club said there were 158 members, and double the dogs, who frequently used the sportsground.
“We’ve had to get trucks down to light the oval up at night,” she said.
“It’s very hard to look out in the dark and find a black dog”.
Bacchus Marsh Soccer Club committee member and previous president, Noel Stanley said the club had spent ten-years at Masons Lane.
“We started using terra lights from the Bacchus Marsh SES to light up the pitch two nights per week,” he said.
“With the money we’ve raised, we later purchased our own lighting rig, which the SES now borrows on a regular basis”.