Wodonga Bowling Club and council at odds over fence near Havelock Street extension

WODONGA Bowling Club is locked in a tense stand-off with Wodonga Council over a protective fence separating playing greens and the Havelock Street extension works.

BOWLS BROUHAHA: Wodonga's bowling club and council are in dispute over the payment for a fence between the club and Havelock Street.

BOWLS BROUHAHA: Wodonga's bowling club and council are in dispute over the payment for a fence between the club and Havelock Street.

The club has accused council of reneging on a promise to build the fence on its eastern boundary.

But council claims it made no promises, has no legal obligation to build the fence and in a “goodwill gesture” is prepared to split the cost 50-50.

The club and council have been in discussions about the fence payment since before the recent elections with club chairman David Broad planning to involve Indi MP Cathy McGowan and federal sports minister Sussan Ley.

Havelock Street is being extended from near the Huon Hill tavern to Osburn Street on land formerly owned by VicTrack which council trumpeted buying for around 25 per cent of the original asking price.

The fence cost is estimated at $12,000 or a third of the cost of art sculpture at the Melbourne Road-McKoy Street roundabout.

Mr Broad conceded the fence would be on club land, but said he had been given a commitment it would not wear the cost.

“We're securely fenced on three sides and for 90 years there has never been a problem around the back,” he said.

“But all of a sudden there is potentially going to be a really big problem.

“We think we are not being treated fairly, but we don't want World War III.

“We are the only affected party in the project and we are a community sporting group so it shouldn't be a big issue.”

The extension works are partly funded by the federal government and will be the forerunner to an extension of South Street to Havelock Street.

Wodonga Bowling Club chairman David Broad.

Wodonga Bowling Club chairman David Broad.

Council chief executive Patience Harrington said in a statement: "Nothing was ever promised by the council to the club in regard to fencing.

"All councillors have been approached by the club on the matter and have confirmed the decision to provide half of the costs.

"The council considers many requests from community groups across the city and has been more than accommodating and respectful in its negotiations with the club.

"Hence its willingness to share costs.

"The council has continued to work with the club including assisting with minor landscaping works and tree removal and replacement.

"The club's long-term lease expired with VicTrack many years ago."

The council has not ruled out Osburn Street being temporarily closed off to complete Havelock Street.

"We are presently discussing with the contractor how this stage of the project will be undertaken," Ms Harrington said.