Fears overgrown course may be fire hazard

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Hills residents are concerned overgrown grassland at the abandoned Belair Country Club and grounds remains a significant danger, with catastrophic fire conditions declared for this week.

The Environment Department took steps last week to mitigate the bushfire risk, just an hour after The Advertiser reported concerns about the state of the course.

However, the residents who raised the alarm say large tracts of the golf course remain untouched, and describe the cutting as a “token effort”.

Judith Mair, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, said grass still remained at waist height on parts of the course, which was part of the Belair Park Country Club that went into administration two years ago with debts of $2.1 million.

“They’ve done a pretty big area but there’s an awful lot of golf course left,” said Mrs Mair, of Belair.

“I acknowledge they have done the worst part along Upper Sturt Rd but they haven’t even mown the bit behind the (Belair) Caravan Park which I would have thought would have been a priority.

“The grass is not even brown yet but it will completely dried out after Wednesday (predicted to be 42 degrees).

“I suspect they’ve done what they’ve planned to do and will do no more.”

Mrs Mair said cuts to firefighting services were a major concern for Hills residents.

Some grass has been slashed at the abandoned Belair golf course alongside Upper Sturt Rd, but large sections are still wildly overgrown.
Some grass has been slashed at the abandoned Belair golf course alongside Upper Sturt Rd, but large sections are still wildly overgrown.

An Environment Department spokeswoman said slashing at the ground would finish on Monday and was focused on areas that “present a bushfire risk”.

They include along the old fairways off Upper Sturt Rd,” the spokeswoman said.

“Slashing will finish up today at a small area in the northwestern corner of the old fairway and around the former Country Club.

“We will continue to maintain the Belair Golf Course and Country Club grounds to minimise bushfire risk.”

Grass remains high and unmown at the course.
Grass remains high and unmown at the course.

Local Roger Hancock said he had spent an hour walking through the golf course on Monday and called the Environment Department’s actions “a token effort”.

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