New sports field to welcome players in spring

Stage one of the redevelopment of Lavington Sports Ground will be completed on time and the new ground will be ready to host its first cricket matches in October, despite financial problems that have affected the contractor appointed to do the work.

AlburyCity understands the Depan Group entered into voluntary liquidation last Friday, leaving a number of matters and site certifications to be completed.

However, these works will be completed on time and without extra cost to ratepayers, meaning the new ground – which is now covered with a thick layer of healthy couch grass – will be ready for Lavington Panthers Cricket Club to begin training there in September, with Cricket Albury Wodonga matches to be played from October.

AlburyCity General Manager Frank Zaknich said it was disappointing to learn that Depan had encountered financial difficulties.

“We’re concerned about any potential impact on sub-contractors and encourage any that might be owed money by Depan to make contact with the liquidator to seek recompense,” he said.

“As that process continues, we’ll work with those creditors to provide them as much support as possible to help them through this difficult time.”

Mr Zaknich said Depan had been appointed following a rigorous assessment process that included an examination of the company’s financial situation.

“Council has been extremely diligent in holding the contractor to a high standard of workmanship and while we’re disappointed the company has gone into liquidation, we’re pleased to note that these high standards will be met, delivering an excellent sportsfield that will form part of one of regional Australia’s best sporting facilities when the entire project is completed,” he said.

Mr Zaknich said the situation would not add an extra financial cost to the stage one works because Council is holding a bond, in line with usual contractual arrangements.

“The funds from that bond will be used to perform those works needed to certify the project as completed and as required by law, any money left over will dealt with in accordance with the contract through the liquidation process,” he said.

“Ultimately, our concern is that this first stage is completed ready for community use and the contractual obligations are met.”