Showground user groups offered same fees for one year as council considers future fees

Horses in the undercover arena at the official opening on April 20. Photos: Susanna Freymark

The Casino Showground and Racecourse has had a massive makeover and was officially opened on April 20.

It will be open for bookings from Monday, June 3.

The new facility includes a large undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas and covered stables, a new racehorse stable complex to accommodate up to 80 horses, and new car, truck and float parking areas.

Other works completed, such as the powered event camping areas, will increase the facility’s ability to host additional events including, country music festivals, car shows, trade shows and markets.

Richmond Valley Council’s general manager Vaughan Macdonald said there was still some essential construction work to complete.

This included the high-voltage power upgrade, finishing the equine training area, and completing some fencing.

Speeches at the official opening.

The ongoing wet weather had caused delays with many areas of the facility being saturated and not suitable for use, he said.

This meant some sporting events had to be cancelled.

The Beef Week Cup has also been cancelled because of race track conditions.

“Pending the finalisation of the power upgrades, the covered arena will be limited to daylight use only, as the events which have been held at the facility have required the hire of a generator to power the new elements at the facility,” Mr Macdonald said.

Council was working with the administrator and subcontractors to finalise the project as soon as possible, he said.

The council will be considering its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its next meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, May 21 which included discussion on the proposed fees for use of the facility. The policy report would be publicly exhibited for 28 days following the meeting to allow the community to give feedback.

Current user groups have been offered new licence agreements for an initial 12-month period based on their previous agreements, facilities used and the same fees being charged,  Mr Macdonald said.

Those user groups will be keen to see what fees are proposed in the Draft Revenue Policy.

Bookings can be made via the council’s venue hire website – Bookable.

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