Community News

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has a bit of fun mixing the two sporting codes that share Ellem Oval much to the amusement of Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons, President of the Clarence River Cricket Association Tim Kinnane & President of Grafton Tigers AFL James Hourigan. Image: contributed

$350,000 funding boost helps deliver important community projects

One of Grafton’s popular sporting precincts and its much loved historical museum are set to benefit from upgrades thanks to over $350,000 in funding from the NSW Government, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

Mr Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons met with community stakeholders who will benefit from the upgrades, funding of which comes from the Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF).

Ellem Oval, which is home to both cricket and AFL, will see a $295,000 facelift including relevelling of the playing surface, wicket realignment and the renewal of fencing and the irrigation system.

The Clarence River Historical Society will receive $59,091 to build an archive facility at Council’s Kooklhan-Trenayr Depot to relocate some of its historical collection, including sensitive photos and negatives from Schaeffer House Museum for safe keeping.

“Clarence Valley Council identified both projects as high priorities and I am pleased we’ve been able to come good with the funding,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The SCCF was established to enrich people’s lives and boost the appeal of towns and villages in regional NSW, and I am pleased to see that happening across my electorate.

“The whole community benefits when local government works in partnership with the NSW Government. Both Clarence Valley Council and I want to make sure local residents and families have the best possible infrastructure and services and this latest funding investment will not only benefit regular user groups, but the whole community,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Clarence Valley Mayor, Jim Simmons, said the funds for Ellem Oval would put the finishing touches to an ongoing plan for the redevelopment of Grafton’s Fisher Park sporting complex.

“Ellem Oval has always been a good sporting venue, but the improvements this funding will bring will make it a great venue,” he said.

“With first class hockey and tennis facilities next door, this has become a terrific sports precinct.”

Cr Simmons was also pleased with funding for Clarence River Historical Society storage facilities.

“This is one of the oldest historical societies in the state and has one of the most impressive collections around, but it is starting to burst at the seams,” he said.

“The archive facility will be a tremendous help in managing and storing the artefacts for future generations,” he said.


A true servant to his people, CVC Mayor Jim Simmons pours Clarence River Historical Society Secretary Ruth Haewood some fine tea while President Pat James enjoys a cuppa and a chat with Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis in the royal dining room at Schaeffer House Museum. Image: contributed