Sports clubs across Victoria are crying out for more drought assistance to keep their barren sports ovals alive this summer. The lack of spring rain has turned sports grounds such as Hogans Road Reserve in Hoppers Crossing into giant dust bowls.

Australian sports season turns to dust

The poor weather conditions have caused the cancellation or postponement of some summer sports competitions in previous years, and threaten to disrupt this year’s cricket season.

Hoppers Crossing Cricket Club has had to cut the number of junior teams from 19 to 16 because of a lack of suitable playing fields.

Club president Steve McNamara said there was no guarantee the season would continue beyond the Christmas break.

“At present, we are playing on it but I am not confident at all that we will finish playing on that oval,” Mr. McNamara said.

“We haven’t hit any hot weather, but once that hits I would dare say it will become unplayable.

“It’s not just our club, it’s right across the state.”

Councils, schools and sports club are queuing for government handouts to lay synthetic turf over barren sports reserves.

The demand for synthetic turf has forced the State Government to add a further $3.8 million to its $3.6 million Synthetic Surfaces Program, set up in October last year.

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