Council, clubs have fresh plan for managing showgrounds

FRASER Coast Regional Council and local clubs that use the Maryborough Showgrounds and Equestrian Park came up with a fresh plan for management of the facilities at a meeting on Wednesday night.

In response to complaints from more than a dozen disgruntled equestrian clubs, council hosted a meeting at Maryborough City Hall where they decided to re-establish a user group to channel input into the future management of the facilities.

Maryborough Active Riders Club president Julie Berthelsen said the groups were concerned about access to the facilities, especially since they had originally helped to raise funds for them.

"In particular, our grievance was in not being able to use the indoor arena," Mrs Berthelsen said.

"Being shut out for six months of the year while the venue was used for the Scouts Jamboree and Ulysses AGM was really hard for the equestrian clubs.

"Especially to have the likes of the pony club moved to the showgrounds to make way for the airport and then shut them out of the facilities - we needed to address the management of the venue."

Mrs Berthelsen said the back arena had been too wet for events and the groups were keen to make use of the only undercover arena in the region.

"Our events and training can go all day - it's preferable to be undercover," she said.

Councillor for events, sport and recreation, Darren Everard, said the process going forward would be to re-establish a user group.

"It's only early days," Cr Everard said.

"We have to be strategic to plan ahead to make the most of the showground facilities."

An updated online calendar to show bookings had also been proposed to co-ordinate shared use of the facilities.

"It will be good to have that transparency to see who's booked the facility, so we can plan ahead," Mrs Berthelsen said.

"Our representation at the meeting certainly felt they were listened to."

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