Ma­jor grand­stand re­pairs

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JARRYD BARCA

The NSW Department of Land’s Corowa Trust has been granted $27,817 so the Race­course and Show­grounds can have its fa­mous grand­stand re­paired.

The ap­pli­ca­tion, that Race­course and Show­ground Land Man­ager Jan McKenna said was sent in Fe­bru­ary this year, was part of the Crown Reserves Im­prove­ment Fund Pro­gram (CRIFP), and she learned of her ap­pli­ca­tion suc­cess in late Au­gust.

The grand­stand was built in 1876, which is also when the race­course was es­tab­lished.

Ms McKenna said she was ex­tremely thank­ful for the grant.

“A lot of old grand­stands that were built many years ago have fallen into such dis­re­pair and can’t be used at all now, so the up­grades will be re­ally good and help sus­tain it,” she told The Free Press.

When asked if the grand­stand had ever un­der­gone any re­pairs be­fore, Ms McKenna said “not that I know of” and praised the orig­i­nal builders from more than a cen­tury ago, al­though a fence had to be re­placed due to the 2013 tor­nado.

There will be gen­eral main­te­nance and re­pairs made to the roof of the grand­stand, re­place­ment of gut­ter­ing, down­pipes, the five tim­ber posts at the front of the stand and bad tim­ber in the four gables for safety rea­sons need ma­jor re­pairs.

Ms McKenna said as the grand­stand is used for races through­out the year and also for the an­nual Corowa Show, the re­pairs and main­te­nance are nec­es­sary as “the health and safety of the com­mu­nity us­ing this fa­cil­ity need to be safe, which is not the case at the mo­ment”.

Not only will the grand­stand be safer to use, but the re­pairs are ex­pected to also in­crease aes­thetic ap­peal.

“Crown reserves play an im­por­tant role in our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, with many be­ing home to pop­u­lar sport­ing and re­cre­ational fa­cil­i­ties,” Mem­ber for Al­bury, Greg Aplin said.

“I am pleased to see Corowa Race­course and Show­ground will re­ceive $27,817 to main­tain and re­pair the grand­stand.”

Min­is­ter for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said the pro­gram was fo­cussed on en­sur­ing com­mu­ni­ties and vis­i­tors could con­tinue to en­joy lo­cal land and fa­cil­i­ties.

“This year we’ve made a record in­vest­ment into Crown land with more than $20 mil­lion in grants and loans be­ing pro­vided across the state,” Mr Toole said.

To date, the NSW Gov­ern­ment has in­vested $115 mil­lion across seven years into Crown land projects. CRIF sup­ports Crown re­serve man­agers by pro­vid­ing fund­ing for re­pairs and main­te­nance projects, pest and weed con­trol, new re­cre­ational in­fras­truc­ture and en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives.

Ms McKenna said she can’t see works on the grand­stand hap­pen­ing be­fore Christ­mas, and sug­gested Jan­uary as a prob­a­ble start­ing point.

The 142-year-old build­ing has been an as­set to the Corowa com­mu­nity. This project is one of 442 across the state that re­ceived a share of $20mil­lion.

The NSW Gov­ern­ment has granted the Corowa Show­grounds Trust $27,817 to un­dergo grand­stand re­pairs. Land Man­ager Jan McKenna said she can’t wait to see the end re­sult.

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