Monday, June 24, 2024

Inner West Mayor slams ‘shocking’ safety rail collapse

Investigations are underway in the aftermath of a a shocking safety rail collapse at a schoolboy rugby match at Leichhardt Oval at the weekend.

The safety rail gave way during the game between St Joseph’s College and Riverview on Saturday, throwing spectators dangerously to the ground as it fell away.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Bryne, described the safety failure as “incredibly dangerous” in an online post.

“The collapse of grandstand seating at Leichhardt Oval today during a school boy rugby match was incredibly dangerous. The footage is shocking,” the Mayor said.

“We are gathering information but thankfully it seems no one was seriously hurt.

“We are making the site safe and will fully investigate the safety risks this raises.”

The accident occurred just days after Inner West Council had condemned a decision by the NSW Government to renege on plans to upgrade the stadium.

Fans stand against the safety rail just prior to its collapse (Photo: 9News).
Fans fall to the ground below (Photo: 9News).

“Despite numerous commitments to fund suburban sports grounds, Dominic Perrottet has opted instead to spend upward of $300 million to build Penrith Stadium in an attempt to try and save the marginal seat of embattled former Minister Stuart Ayres,” Council said in a statement on 3 August.

The rebuilt Penrith Stadium will host the Penrith Panthers to play 11 games a year while the once again neglected Leichhardt Oval hosts more than 50 games a year across various codes including NRL, NRLW, A-League Soccer, Women’s A-League, Super Rugby, Shute Shield Rugby, Schoolboy Rugby, Junior Rugby League and various other community sporting organisations, the Council said.

Inner West Deputy Mayor, Jessica D’Arienzo said, “We are not looking to build a brand-new stadium, we are simply asking for some help to provide decent facilities for the fans and athletes who use Leichhardt Oval.”

“With a fraction of what’s been earmarked for Stuart Ayres’ seat, we can build an upgraded and expanded grandstand, decent catering and toilet facilities for patrons and female-friendly dressing rooms while preserving the heritage Wayne Pearce Hill and Keith Barnes Grandstand,” she said just three days before the incident at Leichhardt Oval.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne’s online post following the incident at Leichhardt Oval.

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