Australia's newest greyhound racing facility is attracting punters, bookmakers and dog owners to a Newcastle sports venue that has made more comebacks than most sportsmen or women.
Birmingham Gardens, adjoining the Newcastle suburb of Wallsend, has in its time been home to the Hunter Mariners Super League team and to the Newcastle Breakers soccer team. It has also served as a touch football ground for local teams.
Now known as The Gardens and operated by the NSW National Coursing Association, the three and a half hectare venue hosts greyhound races twice and often three times a week.
A seven million dollar makeover has turned The Gardens into the top level greyhound racing facility which Newcastle had lacked since the closing of the Broadmeadow track several years ago.
The makeover included the erection of 1.2 kilometres of LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® fencing made from COLORBOND® steel, around the track and across the front boundary, in the colour Terrace®.
Cardiff fencing contractor Speedline Fencing installed the fencing in various heights from 1.2 metres to 2.1 metres.
Speedline Fencing owner Danny Wells said the fencing job was a challenge, not simply because of the length required.
"We've built longer fences in the past, but this job involved a range of sheet sizes," he said. "It also included the construction of kennels and separate enclosures for the dogs as well as erecting fencing on top of earth noise barrier mounds."
The longest continuous section of fencing at The Gardens forms the outer barrier of a track which hosts races over distances up to 715 metres.
"The original plan was to use a different metal fencing profile, but from our experience we knew the track required the strength you get from the LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® profile and from the large section LYSAGHT® posts and rails," Danny Wells said.
" Because there was so much fencing involved at The Gardens, it was important that the profile chosen was an attractive one," he said. "Some fence profiles are more suited to an industrial setting, but LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® combines the strength you need at any public venue with the good looks which are important when both sides are on view.
LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® fencing made from COLORBOND® steel is available in a range of colours and is covered by a complete fencing warranty for up to 10 years.
Fencing components for The Gardens were supplied by BlueScope Lysaght's Cardiff branch.
"We know we can rely on BlueScope Lysaght because they carry a huge range of materials," Danny Wells said. "We don't have problems, even for the largest jobs."
"They also give us flexibility, because for The Gardens project our installers were able to simply call in to BlueScope Lysaght's Cardiff branch and pick up the amount of infill panels, posts and rails appropriate for the section of the job on which they were working."
Danny Wells said that Speedline Fencing had also erected LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® fencing as boundary fencing at several residential estates in the Newcastle area.
"The developers like it because you can mix and match colours and because it achieves the image that they want to project when they are creating a neighbourhood," he said.
"We've also noticed that individual home owners often ask for the same style when it comes time to erect a fence around their own block. LYSAGHT SMARTASCREEN® sets a standard which people are keen to maintain."