The NSW Nationals in the state government will provide $827,690 for upgrades to Gloucester, Muswellbrook, and Quirindi showgrounds under the latest round of the COVID-19 showground stimulus program.
Nationals member for Upper Hunter David Layzell said the latest allocations are part of $16.7 million in funding being distributed state-wide and bring the total funding for the region’s showgrounds under the program to more than $5.1 million.
“Local showgrounds are multi-use facilities used for a variety of activities such as agricultural shows, rodeos and horse clubs, markets, festivals, men’s sheds, sport and recreation, and caravanning and camping,” Mr Layzell said.
“During bushfires and floods, many also serve as emergency centres for residents, animals, firefighters and other support services, so we want them in good shape.”
The latest showground funding includes:
- $570,568 for Gloucester Showground to construct a new multi-function exhibition centre including tiered covered seating, installation of a public address and communication system, and for tree planting;
- $182,872 for Muswellbrook Showground for an electrical upgrade to its campsites, amenities block and rodeo arena, and to add amenities facilities to its office demountable; and
- $74,250 for Quirindi Showground to construct a new pedestrian and spectator entrance, and to refurbish a ticket box.
Nationals Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said a total of $72.47 million had now been allocated to 892 projects at 189 showgrounds, after five rounds of the stimulus program.
“In this latest round, $16.7 million has been provided for 97 projects at 46 showgrounds in NSW,” Mrs Pavey said.
“Showground upgrades improve the quality of community infrastructure while stimulating local economies, with work for tradies and materials suppliers.”
Mr Layzell said he knows how important showgrounds are to local communities, given his own experience of raising a family in the Upper Hunter.
“Whether it’s weekend pony club, a day at our local shows or a night at the rodeo, it is showgrounds that form the social centrepiece of our regional towns. They provide quality entertainment for our toddlers and teenagers, as well as the adults in the region. This funding ensures our communities remain secure and part of a safer stronger Upper Hunter,” Mr Layzell said.