When the January Waroona/Yarloop fire increased in magnitude the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), as the agency in charge of the fire, set up their Incident Control Point (ICP) at the Waroona Town Hall. As the fire grew, so too did the response at the ICP and the oval was used for the setting up of catering, WA Police response, parking for fire trucks and other heavy equipment and various other uses. No one could predict that the ICP would remain in place for two weeks, during which the oval not only was hit by the extra traffic but also received no water during what was very hot weather.
The result was a very sorry oval surface, with dead grass, bare patches and severe compaction.
The Shire received advice that the surface was past the point of no return and so the decision was made that a new surface was required.
The Shire, with the assistance of the Western Australian Local Government Association successfully negotiated with DPaW and three other State Government Departments who agreed to assist in funding the project:
- Department of Parks and Wildlife $80,000
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services $50,000
- Department of Local Government $20,000
- Department of Sport and Recreation $80,000
Which, added to other contributions of:
- Waroona Senior Football Club $6,000
- Waroona Agricultural Society $2,000
- Shire of Waroona $127,440
Fully funded the total cost of $365,440.
Perth company Total Eden won the Tender for the works which were completed in April and comprised not only the removal of the old turf and replacement with new, but also the replacement of about 70 millimetres of soil with new sand which will give the new turf the quickest and best opportunity for establishment as well as for future vigour.
The new turf is now being monitored by Total Eden who will advise as to when it can be used as it needs to be left alone to fully establish. The new turf is, at the time of writing, about half way through the four to five weeks this usually takes.