Geoffrey Beath, President of the Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Land Manager (formerly known as the Showground Trust), has welcomed essential safety upgrades that are expected to get under way at the Showground soon.
The works are being funded through a $9.2 million NSW Government program and address many urgent issues identified by a thorough safety audit.
Mr Beath said that the Showground and racecourse precinct (including the golf course) has been a vital part of the Canowindra community for well over 100 years and that a facelift was long overdue.
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"Safety-related work is expected to involve essential repairs to the grandstand structure, floor, handrails and staircases, as well as minor electrical repairs including some new wiring, and new steel handrails," he said.
"Some structural and welding repairs should also be done, and the Cobley Pavilion - which has been condemned - is expected to be replaced with a new colorbond facility.
"Plumbing repairs should include a new main drainage line, and a dilapidated toilet block that contains asbestos should be demolished safely and removed.
"Crown Lands are in the process of finalising tenders for the safety-related work."
Following recent changes to the way Crown land is managed in NSW, the former Showground Trust has been reconstituted as the Canowindra Showground and Racecourse Land Manager and its members are Mr Beath, Matt Barker, Wendy Bowman, Don Percival, Donna Rygate, Sam Stranger and Bill Watson.
Mr Beath said the new team had hit the ground running.
"While we are still sorting out issues around the balloon festival, we have taken advantage of another grant to upgrade the equipment used to maintain the grounds, storage arrangements under the grandstand have already been improved, and if an insurance claim we have lodged comes through, we will be able to make additional important repairs to the squash courts area," he said.
"I am confident, too, that we will soon have the $250,000 for three new amenities blocks that was announced in the lead-up to the last Federal election.
"The current amenities at the Showground are in dire need of replacement - at the moment, people have to use facilities which are well past their use-by-date. New amenities will be much appreciated by sport groups, community organisations and visitors alike, including people with a disability."
Mr Beath said that expressions of interest to complete the new amenities blocks had been sought from a number of local contractors and a rigorous tender evaluation process had been completed, as good governance and probity demand.
"We are ready to go," Mr Beath said.