The Coffs Harbour Showground plan will be debated tonight.
The Coffs Harbour Showground plan will be debated tonight.

Coffs showground forum to be held

AS open space campaigners prepare for a public meeting tonight, the State Government has stepped in to quell fears about the future of Coffs Harbour Showground’s main ring.

Tonight’s meeting to be held at Club Coffs from 7pm will be a public forum about the showground’s future.

Removal of the show ring fence foreshadowed in a draft masterplan for the showgrounds is one of many “red flags” for open space campaigners.

The Land and Property Management Authority’s (LPMA) Crown Lands general manager Graham Harding said the draft masterplan currently on public exhibition does not suggest removal of the centrepiece.

Public forum organiser and open space campaigner Nan Cowling said the department’s statement is in response to concerns she has raised with the showground administrator about the future of the show ring centrepiece. She is concerned that plans to remove the fence surrounding the show ring would render it useless for events involving animals.

“Removal of that stops everything and makes me suggest they want to get rid of the show,” Mrs Cowling said.

According to her, if the show does not run for two consecutive years, then the showground trust is not obliged to provide a venue for the show.

The draft master plan proposes several adjoining parcels of land, many of them held in trust and owned by the LPMA to be combined under a single authority, including Fitzroy Oval, Coffs Harbour Olympic Memorial Pool, Council maintenance depot, the showgrounds, Coffs Creek Walk and caravan park.

The current Coffs Harbour Showground and Recreation Trust would be rebadged Harbour City Central Reserve Trust and an administrator, appointed when the local trustees were moved on, would continue to manage the new trust.

The public forum will be chaired by Chris Pearson, president of the Show Society with former show secretary Lorraine Tibbs and local activist Ernie Armstrong as guest speakers.

Comments, motions and debate are encouraged by forum organisers.

The draft plan can be viewed at the Grafton and Coffs Harbour offices of the Land and Property Management Authority, Coffs Harbour Showground and Coffs Harbour City Council chambers. It is also available on the LPMA website at

Written submissions can either be forwarded to the LPMA Grafton office or emailed to by November 30, 2010.

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