Does Orange City Council’s $15,000 allocation to the Orange Hockey Association for upgrades to security amount to too little too late?
For years the association’s headquartres in Glenroi has been plagued by vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
We’re not talking about the odd graffiti tag or the occasional breaking of glass. We’re talking about constant attacks on an amenity block and meeting centre and the sporting fields which surround it.
Vandalism in the area has been occurring for more than a decade.
Most weeks, the hockey committee need to clean the field of anything from broken glass to human faeces
Back in 2014 vandals used an angle grinder to cut through newly-installed fencing in order to create a short cut through to the hockey centre.
Around the same time the centre was also spray-painted and windows were smashed.
At the time volunteer Marion Eslick said she hoped the installation of new CCTV cameras would make a difference and deter troublemakers.
However, the CCTV camera which were installed at the centre were destroyed by vandals two days after they were fitted.
MAP: Where is the Orange Hockey Centre …
At the time the then mayor John Davis said council staff and the hockey centre executive were looking at ways to engage children around Glenroi to take up hockey and grow an appreciation for the centre.
Whatever the plan was, and however it was rolled out, some four years latter little progress has been made.
Most weeks, the hockey committee need to clean the field of anything from broken glass to human faeces and the centre could not host a state championship while the problem persisted.
Even visiting players aren’t immune to being targeted by anti-social activities at the site as on occasions rocks have been thrown at players during games.
It’s fairly obvious that something needs to be done to help the Hockey Association before the sport suffers as dwindling numbers of people will want to play on the fields and enroll their children in the sport.
While council had earlier said maintenance and security was a matter for the association, it was good to see councillor Jason Hamling push for council to help out.
Council should be applauded for working with the Hockey Association to crack the ongoing problem.
Sadly, a $15,000 security upgrade may just be the latest in a very long list of band-aid solutions.
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