Croc pit to get a pretty picket upgrade to boundary fence


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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PRETTY: Port Douglas Football Club representatives John Cameron, Josh lea, Barry Lea and Chris Bradsworth with Leichahrd MP Warren Entsch (centre left) and AFL Cairns General Manager Gary Young (centre right). Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.

The Croc Pit is about to become the prettiest football oval in the league with a $110,000 commitment from the federal government to build a white picket fence around the ground.

The new fence will be made of recycled plastic, to cut down on maintenance needs, and will replace the metal fence that currently borders the oval.

In making the funding announcement today, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the fence had become a pet project of his.

“I’ve become quite obsessed with it; from the first time I drove in here, I always thought this site lends itself to something really special,” he said.

When the idea of a picket fence around the oval was first floated, it received a negative reaction due to the upkeep involved to maintain a wooden fence in the tropics. 

“We came up with another way we can do this, let’s capture all those plastic bottles and discarded one-use plastics and let’s condense it into something useful take it out of the environment and turn it into picket fence,” Mr Entsch said.

“And that is exactly what we have done; a plastic fence taken from discarded plastic containers and it’ll be an absolute showcase, this oval here will be the most unique and picturesque and special oval in all of northern Australia.”

Port Douglas AFL Club president, Barry Lea, said the new fence would be safer for players and better looking for the spectators.

“It’s going to be the frame to put around the beautiful bit of canvas out there,” he said.

“It’s a win-win for everybody. We know at the crocs that if you support the community, the community will support you.”

He also said the current signs, including the hand-painted ‘eat ‘em alive’ sign, would be preserved and transferred to the new fence. 

“That sign of Ernie Baxter’s represents the football club and that is a permanent fixture; it is in dire need of a bit of paint and that will again be another nice bit of canvas.”

AFL Cairns Managing Director, Gary Young, described the new fence as a “sensational opportunity.”

“It’s been a long time coming, the clubs both footy and cricket have wanted it and from an AFL Cairns perspective, we want to have boutique grounds that make our competition a bit different,” he said.

“Here is a boutique ground that is not just going to look more beautiful but make it much safer, we have an old dilapidated fence there now that could cause problems and that needs to go.

“This is a great opportunity to make this the prettiest football ground in all of Queensland.” 

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