Holes found in Duke of Kent Oval

Published: 11 Oct 2019 12:49pm

Wagga Wagga City Council is warning community members that digging for metal objects on sporting ovals or grounds across the region is strictly forbidden.

The warning comes in the wake of an alarming discovery at Wagga’s Duke of Kent Oval, where Council staff found a series of deep holes dug into the facility’s turf surface.

“We’ve now found up to 10 of the holes at Duke of Kent Oval,” Team Leader Parks Operations-Sportsgrounds, Brian Cattell said.

“The Wagga Wagga and District Cricket Association competition actually starts this weekend, so we are relieved we found these holes in time.

“They are almost impossible to see until you’re right above them … making them even more dangerous.”

The holes, estimated to be about 10cm deep, have been found in two locations on the oval, posing enormous risk to athletes or recreational users utilising the sporting facility.

“This is a really dangerous practice,” Mr Cattell said.

“These holes are quite deep and have the potential to cause a significant injury.”

Council staff believe the holes are being created by would-be “treasure hunters”, searching for different objects with the help of metal detectors.

“This dangerous activity will not be tolerated,” Mr Cattell said.

“We are asking members of the community to be on alert… and to contact us if they notice anyone acting suspiciously on our sporting grounds or ovals.”

This isn’t the first time Council has discovered holes of this nature dug into sporting ovals around the city.

“Those ones had all been filled in,” Mr Cattell said.

As with the majority of sports and hobbies, budding detectorists are advised to adhere to certain guidelines, ensuring they are operating safely and legally.

Detectorists must seek permission before using their devices on private land and are encouraged to seek information from Council about areas that may off limits.

People are reminded the Code of Conduct, available on Detectors Down Under, highlights the need to fill in any holes made while using metal detectors.

Members of the public who believe someone is operating a metal detector on a Council-operated-facility is encouraged to phone Council’s Call Centre on either 1300 292 442 or (02) 6926 9100.