Update on $500K revamp with more cash possibly on the way
MEMORIES of shows gone by and the best sponge cakes in North Queensland were shared as politicians visited the Proserpine showgrounds yesterday to check in on the progress of a $500,000 revamp.
Dawson MP George Christensen and Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud met with president of the show committee Donna Rogers where work was under way on the grounds' facelift.
Ms Rogers said the committee were "pretty excited" when they secured funding as it would provide a welcomed new facility for the whole community.
"The show obviously is a huge two-day social event for the region, which brings a lot of people from around the state and interstate too with competitions," she said.
"However, the grounds itself are also used by various groups every week so it's not just about having a two-day show."
The money will be used to reconstruct the main show pavilion and the attached main grandstand, show office and disabled toilet facilities, which were damaged in Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
The works are flagged to be finished by June next year in time for the 2021 Show Whitsunday, which was cancelled this year because of coronavirus.
Ms Rogers reassured residents that next year's show would be back bigger and better than ever.
Among those hanging out for their show-fix was LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm who was pushing to make the new interior of the pavilion as fresh as the outside.
Ms Camm said she had approached shadow treasurer Tim Manter with hopes of securing further funding for a "soft refurbishment" of the pavilion that would include chairs, tables and lighting.
"I have fond memories of this showground because I spent every show here as a kid," she said.
"I've been here on both rainy and dry days … and some of the cooking, particularly the sponge cakes that women in this region for generations have been able to make, were outstanding."
Mr Christensen echoed Ms Camm's calls for further funding to help fit out the interior and praised the efforts of Ms Rogers and the whole committee in securing funding for an important event on the Whitsunday calendar.
The cash boost came from a Federal Government grant aimed at supporting agricultural shows and will be complemented by a new $36 million commitment to assist shows with fixed costs built up from this year's cancellations.
Mr Littleproud said shows like Show Whitsunday "empowered communities" and that the new funding opportunity would help them bounce back.
"We've been through some tough times and it will be important that these shows bring us together," he said.