Bright idea reaching fruition in Maffra

MAFFRA’S community has again shown why it has a reputation for punching above its weight.

Maffra Community Sports Club has stepped in to assist Maffra Recreation Reserve Committee find money for a massive upgrade to the reserve’s lighting.

The existing lights are approaching their end of usefulness and to continue hosting major league football night games, Maffra’s reserve committee needed to find money for a substantial upgrade.

To match a $100,000 contribution from Wellington Shire Council, the community sports club presented the recreation reserve committee with $55,000 towards the project.

State government funding of $80,000 will be provided from the Sport and Recreation country football and netball budget.

The contract for the $230,000 lighting upgrade has been awarded to Bennett Electrical Contractors, with work on the construction of the four 30 metre towers to begin this week and completion expected in time for next year’s football season.

Each tower will carry 12 lights, ensuring the reserve’s main oval will be flooded with 200 lux lighting, enabling not only night football, but a range of activities including the annual Maffra Show and special events to be carried out in full light.

Recreation reserve committee deputy chair John Vardy said the project had been on the committee’s books for the past eight years and the community donation and the state government’s contribution had enabled it to finally reach fruition.

Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull said major football leagues were looking to play more matches at night, with Bairnsdale recently installing a significant upgrade to its lights.

“The Gippsland League will schedule more night matches, moving away from playing games at the same time as district leagues.

“We want people to support both major and district leagues, which is why Maffra, as a major league team, will be able to play at night, and locals can support both leagues,” Mr Bull said.