Showgrounds across Southern NSW have benefited from Covid-19 stimulus packages announced by the NSW Government on Friday, with Adelong Showground set to receive $30,581 to go towards upgrades.
Shane Walsh, who is part of the Adelong Showground Management Committee, said the money is going to be spent on installing an insulated ceiling in the pavilion.
“We’re going to put an insulated ceiling inside the pavilion, which is going to help a lot for heating and cooling purposes,” he said.
“The old pavilion is just timber rafters at the moment … think that will make a big difference.”
BlazeAid are still hard at work in the region, having set up their base camp at the Adelong Showground in January. Internal work, including the pavilion upgrade, cannot be completed until BlazeAid have left.
“They’ve been doing a great job and we don’t want to see them go, they’re obviously there to help people in need and they’re doing a great job,” Mr Walsh said.
Despite not being able to undertake internal upgrades right now, other grants and avenues of funding have allowed progress to continue externally at the grounds.
“We’re going to rotate the cricket pitch and finally shift them from where they are,” Mr Walsh said.
“They’ll be half the size of the ones down at the bull paddock; they’ll be two pitches wide, but the same set up as the ones down the Bull Paddock.”
A long jump pit is also going to be installed.
“We’ve only got the two primary schools over there so we don’t need to do anything too substantial, so it’s just going to be big enough to house the primary school kids,” Mr Walsh said.
“It will go roughly where the cricket nets are now, sort of parallel with the road.”
Work began on Saturday, May 30, to widen the junior cricket field, too.
“Currently we can’t play a full club. One of the bigger clubs, for instance, we can’t house them, because we haven’t got enough room there.
“What we’re going to do is widen out that junior cricket ground where they play the league, so the junior league as well we’re going to widen that.”
A few BlazeAid campers had to be moved for the work to be completed, but they were “quite happy and understanding.”
This external work is made possible through a variety of grants the Showground Committee has acquired, as well as leftover funding from the last round.
“From our first lot when we did the fence and power, because we all chipped in and had a go and the community banded together, we did a really good job and we saved a lot of money,” Mr Walsh said, “so we still had around $25,000 left from that round.”
The leftover money will help fund some additional light towers.
“We’ve got four there now which we replaced from the old timber ones … but down the southern end of the ground it’s still pretty dark,” Mr Walsh said.
“We’re going to put another few towers in there and a few more lights.”
Mr Walsh said that the plethora of upgrades planned for the showground will help the entire community in the long run.
“Adelong Showground is classed as a community safe area, so if something ever happens like bushfires or an emergency, that ground’s able to cater for everyone,” he said.
The previous round of upgrades were completed last year, including the new fence, awning and power upgrade, which were essential in ways that no one could have anticipated.
“If we hadn’t done this work that we’d previously done … we wouldn’t have been able to house BlazeAid down there, so it’s just a great example of money well spent in the community.”
Not only will the upgrades have far-reaching benefits, but they allow the community to come together and work on a project together.
“We always have different people ringing and asking if they can come and help and chip in, and everyone’s more than happy to chip in. At the end of the day, you look back and see what a great job you’ve done, so it makes you feel pretty proud,” Mr Walsh said.