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Byron Shire
December 2, 2021

Two Far North Coast Showgrounds get a revamp

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All aboard for the Nimbin Showground upgrade.

Two showgrounds on the Far North Coast are getting a face-lift – Mullumbimby has already started works at their site and Nimbin is looking forward to their upgrade later in the year.

Lismore City Council is investing $685,000 to help make Nimbin bushfire ready after last year’s devasting fires.

Govt funding

Local emergency service infrastructure and facilities at Nimbin showgrounds will be upgraded under Lismore City Council’s $1.3 million Federal Government Bushfire recovery grant.

Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith said $240,000 of the grant funding will be invested in improving emergency infrastructure, such as constructing turning circles for emergency vehicles on strategic roads in Nimbin, increasing the water supply capacity during bushfires by placing tanks in strategic locations and helping to upgrade technology at the Rural Fire Service’s headquarters.

Final details from the Nimbin community and Rural Fire Service

The final details of these projects will be determined after consultation with the Nimbin community and Rural Fire Service.

‘These upgrades are crucial to make sure our community is safe in times of emergencies,’ said Mayor Smith.

The Nimbin Showground, which played a crucial role as emergency evacuation centres during last year’s bushfires, will also receive funding of $445,000 to upgrade its facilities. This will allow us to keep our community safe and are prepared for any future bushfires.

‘I would like to acknowledge Kevin Hogan and the Federal Government for providing the grant, which allowed us to prioritise where the money was spent after consulting with the community.’

Great news for the Nimbin community

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the projects were great news for the Nimbin community.

‘As we saw in the recent bushfires the showground played an important role in providing accommodation those who were forced to flee their homes. I would like to thank both the Nimbin Showground committee for opening up their facilities during the emergency,’ he said.

President of the Nimbin Showground Phil Williams said: ‘Showgrounds are always where the community comes together and nowhere was this more evident than the Nimbin Showground in November when hundreds and locals and their pets and animals sought refuge.’

Among nominated projects to be included in the $445,000 upgrade are:

  • New awning and concrete slab adjoining main pavilion
  • Enclose existing large shelter and install roller doors
  • New awning and concrete slab to existing storage sheds
  • Rebuild holding yards and shelter for cattle/horses
  • New kitchen in the main pavilion
  • New floor coverings to area in main pavilion.

Mullumbimby

Showground caretakers Keith and Margaret White. Photo Jeff Dawson.

If you have driven down Main Arm Road lately, you might have wondered about all the earthworks at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds.

‘There is quite a bit happening on site,’ said operations manager, Kelly West.

‘These are all projects that were scheduled for this year.

‘Lockdown has just afforded us some time to get it all done while we are closed’.

There are three projects taking place during May and into early June – the amenities building down by the Farmers Market is getting a renovation, with a new roof, new stalls, sinks, doors, footpaths and internal paint.

‘Pretty much everything is being ripped out and replaced, to bring it up to a modern facility – it is currently a bit cavernous and damp,’ said Ms West.

Govt funding

‘We received NSW state grant funding, but have allocated a significant co-contribution from our reserves. Our aim is that the Farmers Markets and agricultural shows have quality facilities – as well as the rest of the community having a nice space for birthdays, weddings and other events’.

Market manager, Allie Godfrey, said the market community is really excited to have a new toilet block for customers, stallholders and visitors.

‘The old block served its purpose, but it was rapidly becoming a wildlife sanctuary – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.’ she said.

‘But it’s good to know that we can now have a little privacy in a clean new and hygienic environment.

‘We shall miss our friendly possum, but we are grateful for the MSLT for applying for the grant, and we can’t wait to show it off to all of the farmers market community.’

Campground

Ms West says the campground is being reshaped to reduce the flooding experienced in that area.

‘The paddock is currently a bit of a depression, and water gathers and creates a swampy mess when we have rain of 20mm or more.

‘We are moving fill from another area on the grounds to create drainage flow, so that campers and event users have a more comfortable stay – even in the wet season.

‘These funds have come from state grants with a co-contribution from our camping income.’

There will also be new bench-seating around the main arena.

‘Our old bench-seating is rotten through, and a bit of a H&S issue. We received a small community grant from the federal government to replace them with new aluminium ones.

‘Again, this is with a co-contribution from our own reserves.’

President of the Mullumbimby Show, Mark Ward, told The Echo, ‘The earthworks in the front paddock will greatly benefit the show by fixing the poor drainage that we have experienced over the past 100 years.

‘This work includes raising the level and creating a better fall into the drains. This will help sideshow alley, the truck show, and parking, for years to come.

‘This will also benefit the camping, year round.

Starts May 11

‘The trust are upgrading the southern amenities blocks, which most people will know is adjacent to the farmers market area, and these are used by horse and cattle people as well.

‘They will be greatly enhanced from the past’.

The big tractors and earth working machines started arriving last week, and the building works on the amenities will start on 11 May.


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