A howl of delight greeted a move by Byron Shire Council to allow its brand new sports complex to be used for roller derby competition, despite concerns roller blades may damage its brand-new timber floor.
The Bay Rollers roller derby squad had recently applied to use the auditorium for training and competition but due to concerns of their impact, councillors asked staff for a report.
Councillors last week backed the report’s recommendation for inviting use of the facility by the group, subject to ongoing monitoring of the floor to ensure damage to the floor did not void its warranty or increase maintenance costs.
Members of the roller squad in the public gallery greeted the decision with applause.
Ironically, council is replacing the existing sprung timber floor with a harder laminated surface after defects were found in the workmanship of the original timber floor.
Staff said the contractor initially argued against the use by roller bladers because of the ‘perceived aggressive nature of the roller blades’ and advised such use carried a high risk of damaging the floor surface and voiding the warranty offered.
Later advice from the floor supplier said roller skating was acceptable and the warranty would not be affected for the proposal.
But staff said the supplier also advised that, from their experience, roller skates wore the floor more than other sports and council may need to maintain it more.
They also said that as the potential replacement cost of the floor was $250,000, any damage or excessive wear could cost council dearly and the facility manager would have to ensure it was thoroughly monitored for damage.
Council will set a specific fee for the facility’s roller derby use to take account of higher cleaning and maintenance costs.