Showground claims "fanciful"

COFFS Harbour Showground administrator Kate Young said any talk of selling off the showground was “fanciful”.

Ms Young was responding to claims by the state member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser, who raised the issue of the future of Coffs Harbour Showground in parliament.

He said he would not stand by as the city’s representative and allow this valuable public asset to be “flogged to the highest bidder.”

Mr Fraser said commercial developers had had their eye on the showground for many years.

Kate Young said the only plans put to her had been concerned with improving the area for the community at large.

“The Department of Lands’ intention is to improve the resource for the community,” Ms Young said.

“We have spent $300-$400,000 in the last three or four years on improving the grounds - restoring the buildings, improving the electricity, the water - there is no intention to sell off the showground.

“The increased use from the community and the vast improvements contradicts everything Andrew Fraser has said.

“Who are these mystery buyers?”

Ms Young said she had spoken to one member from Coffs Harbour City Council about the council’s plan to extend the bike track through the showground.

She said the showground and the council would work together on any project of joint interest.

Ms Young did not agree with Mr Fraser that usage of the showground for sporting groups, the Show Society Art group and others had become increasingly difficult.

She said the showground was now busier and was receiving more intensive usage.

Ms Young said the removal of “a very rusted” part of the ring fence in front of the grandstand had upset one group; another was very happy and other users had made no comment.

Kate Young said she did not administer the showground for the land and property management authority but for the Showground Trust.

The NSW Government sacked the members of the community trust some years ago, making Ms Young the only trustee.

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