Soccer club in the dark

SOCCER players in the north of Byron Shire have been left in the dark by a council ruling on training times at their field in New Brighton.

Lack of consultation and limits placed on the use of lighting mean Shores United players will be forced to train on the least suitable nights – Monday, Wednesday or Friday – when the council allows the lights to be switched on, said committee member Ted Kabbout.

“The nights chosen, especially Monday and Friday, are the worst nights for training. It reflects the lack of consultation and understanding of community need that went into this decision,” Mr Kabbout said.

Even worse, the lights will not go on until May 13 – two weeks after the season starts, and at least three weeks after the club would like to have started training.

“Our major concern is that there hasn’t been proper consultation with Shores United,” Mr Kabbout said.

“That was supposed to be part of the process and could have led to an amicable result.”

Mr Kabbout said the reason given for the restrictions was the impact the lights would have on loggerhead turtles. But this was based on a ‘very flawed Review of Environmental Factors report, which made these recommendations, despite the fact that the lights meet every Australian Standard’, he said.

He said the ruling appeared contradictory because council had concluded that ‘there was no significant environmental impact’.

Byron Shire Council will discuss the matter at its ordinary meeting this morning.



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