In recent months, showgrounds throughout the region north and west of Canberra have hit the jackpot with a swag of funding announcements from the NSW Government.
Jerrawa and Rye Park, both near Yass, were two of 29 showgrounds to benefit from the May announcement of safety upgrades in the Goulburn electorate, thanks to a $9.2 million improvement program from the state government.
But COVID-19 has played its part in boosting the coffers of local showground committees with two further injections of funding for people living in the Goulburn and Cootamundra electorates under the NSW Government’s Showgrounds Stimulus Funding Program.
Topping a $430,196 spend announced in late May, 2020, Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman announced a further $925,470 has been allocated to showgrounds in her electorate as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package, which totals $33.767 million across the state.
Under the same scheme, a staggering 20 local showgrounds across the Cootamundra electorate are to benefit from $1,779,153 in funding that was announced in May by local MP Steph Cooke, which has now been iced with the announcement of an additional $321,638.
$151,800 for road sealing work, upgrades to change rooms and amenities, and irrigation for the main arena and parade ring.
A further $150,000 allocated this week for 340m of connecting accessible pathways to allow walking and cycling between multiple sites within the showground precinct.
$151,185 for upgrades to kitchen and shower block.
A further $25,742 to install tiered seating in three areas.
$45,593 to upgrade its hall with heating and cooling systems, floor sanding and sealing, and a new switchboard.
An additional $44,513 for repairs to its showground hall, including guttering and roof repairs, floor sanding and sealing, repointing brickwork, new awnings, electrical upgrades and installation of air-conditioners in the kitchen, side room and main room.
$38,171 to install seating at woodchopping grandstand, main arena, food site and dressage and yard dog areas.
Rye Park Showground
$6000 to install reverse-cycle air-conditioning.
Upgrades totalling $446,744 include the purchase and installation of retractable basketball hoops and backboards on three multi-purpose indoor courts in the basketball stadium, plus remediation of the Gate 3 car park at Goulburn Recreation Area and the purchase of five additional mobile tiered seating units for use in Veolia Arena.
Robertson Showground was allocated $20,212 in May 2020 to paint its pavilion dining room and seal and paint the pavilion’s concrete floor. It has received a further $124,766 to repair and replace boundary fencing and resurface roadways within the showground.
In May, Moss Vale Showground received $17,235 to repair its grandstand, and will now receive a further $133,705 in announced funding for upgrade work on horse stables, a new kitchen, and electrical and plumbing work on the martial arts shed.
“When COVID-19 hit, it forced the postponement or cancellation of agricultural shows and many community activities that showgrounds rely on for their income,” said Mrs Tuckerman.
She said the investment under the stimulus package would not only provide a boost for local showgrounds, but the communities they serve by supporting tradies and suppliers with work.
Ms Cooke said she was delighted with the number of successful applicants from across her Cootamundra electorate to share in $1.779 million in funding announced in May.
The 20 local showgrounds include:
- $302,716 for Junee Showground to renovate the Lord Pavilion, construct a new toilet block and replace water pipes.
- $282,665 for Gundagai Showground to upgrade its stable complex, install water and power hubs in camping areas, install new skillions on the canteen, and lop and remove dangerous trees.
- $244,992 for Barellan Showground to construct two single-storey amenity and toilet buildings.
- $153,203 for Cootamundra Showground for electrical upgrades, installation of a new solar system, an upgrade to LED lighting at three pavilions, and painting and maintenance of the luncheon pavilion.
- $144,786 for Illabo Showground to rebuild the bar area and sheep yards, and install additional power points for camping.
- $132,461 for Bribbaree Showground to repair and paint the exterior of its pony club pavilion, install external fencing to the club’s arena, upgrade canteen and kitchen facilities, construct return yards for the camp draft arena, and install a new water tank.
- $114,108 for Weethalle Showground to refurbish its kitchen, install outdoor seating, and install power to its recreation ground.
- $82,500 for Cowra Showground to construct entrance, exit and internal roads; install power connections for additional camping sites; improve laundry facilities; install solar lighting; and construct additional disabled toilet facilities.
- $75,606 for Ungarie Showground for upgrade work on its rodeo arena, display shelves and refurbishment of its kiosk.
- $54,956 for Temora Showground to upgrade the kitchen in its supper room; roof, guttering and drainage repairs; and install air-conditioning.
- $35,000 for Narrandera Showground to upgrade the Pioneer Hall kitchen, and install a hot water system and disabled walkway.
- $30,800 for Coolamon Showground for a water infrastructure upgrade; install fire extinguishers and fire blankets; replace a damaged support column in the horse stalls; new stairs for the men’s and women’s change rooms; replace exhaust units in the all-purpose building; patch, seal and paint toilets; and demolish an old shed.
- $27,500 for Young Showground to purchase and install CCTV.
- $21,247 for Harden Showground to replace the ceiling and paint the interior of the Cowabbie building; repair and paint its entrance gates; and paint the inside of the lunch pavilion.
- $19,250 for Grenfell Showground to install soundproof ceiling and insulation in the main pavilion dining room.
- $17,241 for Ganmain Showground for internal road construction and resurfacing.
- $16,000 for Koorawatha Showground to install evaporative cooling for its luncheon booth.
- $12,893 for Morongla Showground to replace its toilets with water-efficient units; paint the interior of the main hall and ceiling of the supper room; replacement of fencing; and surface levelling and compacting around storage sheds
- $6229 for Woodstock Showground to install four new power outlets; birdproofing material in the hall eaves; exterior flashing on the luncheon room; a storyboard for the memorial hall; and CCTV.
- $5000 for Ardlethan Showground for internal shelving and framework for its poultry shed.
The following Cootamundra electorate showgrounds received an additional $321,638 in funding:
- $160,000 for Narrandera Showground to restump its Pioneer Hall and to upgrade the men’s and women’s amenities.
- $70,953 for Koorawatha Showground to complete work on its amenities block and install evaporative cooling in the pavilion.
- $47,960 for Temora Showground to replace its kiosk and bar area.
- $32,225 for Grenfell Showground to install reverse-cycle air-conditioning in the main pavilion’s supper room.
- $10,500 for Junee Showground to build a women’s change room.
Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has also welcomed the showground stimulus package, which was strongly evident in Batlow this week with the closure of Batlow Oval as it commences $600,000 in upgrade work.
Of the total $35.77 million package, $23.27 million is being allocated this financial year to support showground upgrades across NSW, with a further $12.5 million to be spent in the 2021-2022 financial year.