“Controversial picket fence” completed more than a decade after the idea was first raised

Posted on 31st May 2015


Unley Oval boundary fence

During 2013, Council developed an improvement plan for the Unley Oval precinct as part of a Master Plan for the precinct. In February 2014 Council endorsed proceeding with seeking tenders for the design and construction of an internal picket fence around the oval. Sturt Football Club was requested to contribute one third of the cost of the picket fence installation. The oval is now known as the Peter Motley oval after the Sturt Football Club’s “double blues” legend, Peter Motley.

In June 2014, Council approach Bluedog seeking permission to use images of our Headingly® steel picket fencing as installed for the City of Holdfast Bay at Gliderol Stadium (Glenelg Oval) in 2010. Council wanted to use the images on its website as part of the community consultation process to give a sense of what the fencing would look like.

In September 2014, Council sought budget estimate pricing from Bluedog for the supply and install of our Headingly® steel picket fencing.


City Of Unley Logo

The City of Unley is located immediately south of the City of Adelaide in South Australia and is a community of about 40,000 residents.


Headingly® Steel Picket Fence System

A durable, elegant solution with a heritage feel.

Bluedog was contracted to manufacture and install Headingly® steel picket fencing. This included 450 metres of steel picket fencing, eight single gates and five sets of double gates. The majority of the fencing was in a 900mm high panel while a small section of fencing with a playground that is immediately adjacent to the oval perimeter was increased to 1200mm high to give a child safe outcome.

Heading Steel Picket Fence CTA



Our project management team attended site at Trimmer Terrace, numerous times to help Council resolve an array of site specific challenges. This included:

  • resolving the most cost effective method of installing the fence
  • the layout of the fence to try and best meet the interests of the wide range of stakeholders that make use of the picturesque oval.

Council subsequently went to market to seek proposals for the manufacture and install of the powder coated tubular steel fencing. Bluedog was ultimately awarded the project.

Prior to the installation of the new picket fence Council was having to arrange for temporary fencing to be erected for each football game and then have it pulled down that same day. This has been reported as costing Council and the Club some $20,000 annually. While the installation of the oval fence proved somewhat controversial in the local community and attracted considerable media coverage, the argument for a permanent fence was based around the safety of the players and members of the public.


Sturt Football Club came up with the idea of a “Pick-a-Picket” campaign where members could purchase an individually numbered and personalised picket with nominated name and/or family name. It has been reported that the Club raised some $60,000 to help fund the new fence. By all accounts the campaign has been and continues to be a huge success.


The program of works involved:

  • Resolve exact location and layout of oval fencing and oval gates with the client.
  • Prepare site plans reflecting the layout.
  • Specify and manufacture of materials.
  • Conduct a hazard assessment of the site.
  • Develop a site specific Safety Plan and Safe Work Method Statement.
  • Develop a risk assessment based safety barrier plan.
  • Carry out a site induction with the client and install team.
  • Locate underground services.
  • Cordon off the work area with flagging and paramesh.
  • Excavate new post footings, place and set posts to height.
  • Stockpile surplus excavated spoil for immediate transport off site by council.
  • Install panels and gates.


Having completed over 30 sports oval fencing projects like Unley, we were able to draw on this depth of experience to suggest practical and cost effective options for Council to consider. We worked closely with Council to minimise the disruption to the usage of the oval during works, whilst accelerating the manufacture and installation to meet the desired deadline. The Headingly steel picket fencing is now a crowd pleaser at Unley Oval.

Sports Field Unley