The much-loved showgrounds in Casino, Grafton and Maclean are set for more terrific upgrades thanks to a little over $1,683,000 in new funding from the NSW Government, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis announced at the iconic Casino Showground with local mayor Robert Mustow on Wednesday of last week.
“This is part of the Nationals in Government’s coronavirus stimulus package that is supporting local tradies and local jobs. It follows more than $800,000 awarded to these showgrounds in a series of announcements last year,” Mr Gulaptis said.
He said local show societies had to cancel events, which came at a serious cost, but the stream of grants from the NSW Government was allowing them to use the time to upgrade their facilities.
“One million dollars’ worth of new works at the Casino Showground would allow for an electrical upgrade of the whole site making it suitable for recreational vehicle camping, a new toilet block at the Race Club and extended cutting yards for campdraft,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Richmond Valley Mayor described the announcement as “great news” because all components of Council’s ambitious master plan for the site were now fully funded.
Cr Mustow said as trustee of the site, Council began planning for a major overhaul of the showgrounds two years ago, and welcomed the funding announcement.
“The showgrounds have an important historical and social significance and are home of the Casino Show, the Beef Week and Gold Cup races, the Stockman’s Challenge, gymkhanas and campdrafts, however, it has the potential to host many more events,” he said .
“Our master plan will ensure the much-loved precinct will best serve the needs of residents and users now and for generations to come.”
Mr Gulaptis said Grafton Showground, which benefited from new roofs and flooring as well as spectator seating and better toilets in the previous funding round, will now be able to restore the heritage listed show office to its former glory, install new ring lights and replace a window in the luncheon pavilion.
“Because the show must go on, even after dark,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Maclean which had already been recognised three times in funding decisions over the past twelve months was set for new arena lighting as well as seating, retaining walls and a walkway.