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Stroud Showground Repairs still in hiatus

Stroud’s showground is still waiting for its major repairs, eight months after April’s super storm either swept away or irreparably damaged fencing, lighting, tennis courts and pavilions.

Local resident and Great Lakes councillor Karen Hutchinson said that they missed out on state government disaster funding due to a change of rules last year which removed playing fields from being eligible. They then applied to Clubs NSW for $750,000 but found out mid-November that they had missed out on that too.

“It was very disappointing, but you just have to be positive,” Ms Hutchinson said.

According to the councillor, Great Lakes Council is now waiting to hear about an application seeking $1.1 million from the federal government but an announcement is not expected until April.

“In the meantime, we’ve been scratching away at it slowly with council funds.”

The power is back on for the campers, meters are in, and the new fence has been ordered.

At around six feet high, the fence will be the same height as the one surrounding Stroud’s pool, to help secure gate takings from events such as the rodeo, brick throwing, show, and football games.

Damaged during the flood, the luncheon pavilion will be demolished just after Christmas, along with its commercial kitchen installed only two years ago.

“We had a master plan for the entire showground drawn up last year but it was pre-flood. Now it’s back to the drawing board because we want to do it a bit better,” she said, adding that no decisions have yet been made as to where the new luncheon pavilion would be rebuilt.

In the meantime, cricket has returned to the playing fields, the pony club is back, as is Riding for the Disabled.

But there’s still no tennis court (four were swept away), no lighting, no functional lunch pavilion, poultry pavilion, or bar.

The Mexan stalls need repairing but fortunately the grandstand’s limited damaged was repaired straight away.

Ms Hutchinson said that next year’s Stroud Show, held over April 1 and 2, will use temporary facilities brought in to the showground for the event.

Article by Rebecca Casson
Courtesy of the Dungog Chronicle

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