Batlow Show Society is celebrating Batlow Showground getting a $613,680 of funding for an upgrade.
Parliamentary Secretary for Southern NSW Steph Cooke and Wagga-based Nationals MLC Wes Fang last week announced 33 local showgrounds across southern NSW will benefit from $3,174,823 in funding as part of the NSW Government Covid-19 stimulus package.
Batlow Showground’s funding is twice as much as that given to Junee Showground, which got the next highest amount with $302,716.
The Batlow Showground money will go to resurfacing, drainage and irrigation installation, and the installation of lighting.
Batlow Show Society president Steve Ross says the funding is “very positive for the town” which was so hard hit by the Dunns Road bushfire.
“The more money that gets spent on the showground the better,” he said.
“It gets used for a lot of events, like school sports, the Apple Blossom Festival, the Batlow Show and Ciderfest.”
He believes the installation of an irrigation system is a huge bonus.
“This is really good, because the problem for the last few years was getting water on it,” he said.
“There was always the complaint on show day that the surface was too hard, and the cricketers said that as well. It (the irrigation) used to come off the recycled water but that’s been deemed not good enough, so hopefully part of the funding will be fixing that as well.”
Steph Cooke said the grants would be a boost to local communities.
“Many of our regions have been dealing with drought, bushfires and Covid-19, and recent restrictions have forced our local showgrounds to cancel or postpone events,” Ms Cooke said.
“Communities from Batlow to Barham and Bribbaree are benefitting from this round of funding.”
Nationals MLC Wes Fang said the grants will assist whole communities.
“This investment by the NSW Government will provide a boost for our local showgrounds and the communities they serve by supporting tradies and suppliers with work, and strengthening showground infrastructure for the future,” he said.
The funding is part of $25 million that will be spent over two years to improve showgrounds across the State.
“$12.5 million is being allocated immediately to get projects underway this financial year under the NSW Government’s Covid-19 stimulus package,” Mrs Pavey said.
“We will then follow through by allocating another $12.5 million for more work across showgrounds to be announced next financial year.”
The 33 showgrounds funded around this region would be among 137 across the State that will benefit from the first tranche of funding.
“Showgrounds today are multi-use facilities for a range of activities from agricultural shows, rodeos and horse clubs to farmers markets, festivals, camping, men’s sheds, and sport and cultural events,” Mrs Pavey said.
“Our showgrounds are at the heart of communities including serving as evacuation centres during bushfire and flood so we want to keep them in good shape.”