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A new state-of-the-art synthetic sports ground has been opened at The Australian National University by the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Penny Wong.
Willows Oval at ANU has been fitted with the latest synthetic grass technology to create two new environmentally friendly, world-class playing fields.
The oval has received accreditation from the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and also meets the playing standards for international hockey, international rugby, the AFL and Cricket Australia.
ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb said: “The FIFA two-star rating means that Willows Oval mirrors the playing conditions of the highest level of professional soccer. You could play the World Cup on this surface.”
“The conversion of Willows Oval from natural grass to artificial turf has created a world-class sporting facility that the University and wider community can use all year round.
“The oval also has a number of environmental benefits. It no longer requires any irrigation, saving 15 megalitres of water each year which will be re-used on sporting fields and gardens across campus.
“Willows Oval will now actually capture water, in a 500-kilolitre underground water storage system, for use on surrounding areas.
“This is yet another way that we are transforming ANU campus into a green hub,” Professor Chubb said.
The resurfacing of Willows Oval forms part of a larger plan to minimise water usage across the University’s Acton campus by 2012, and was made possible by $1 million in from the Commonwealth Government’s Green Precincts Fund.
As well as resurfacing Willows Oval, ANU has invested the Green Precincts’ money into the installation of photovoltaic solar panels, increasing carbon neutral transport options on campus, and implementing a new water use minimisation plan, under the University’s Education Precincts for the Future project.