Let’s get this show on road

Wodonga Show Society president Len Hogan is looking to the future. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Wodonga Show Society president Len Hogan is looking to the future. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

WODONGA Show Society is planning to lease part of its showgrounds land to Wodonga Council as it looks to bring new life to its traditional agricultural show.

Show Society president Len Hogan said yesterday members were “pretty much agreed” to provide the council with a licence to use the main access road and develop it into a proper sealed roadway.

Wodonga Council chief executive officer Patience Harrington confirmed discussions were under way for the council to construct the road at a cost of about $200,000.

The showgrounds are divided between the show society, the council and Wodonga and District Turf Club.

The main access road, which is a dirt track to the turf club and council-owned exhibition centre, is on the society’s land.

Mr Hogan said the council would not be charged to use the land but would cover the costs of building and maintaining the road.

“If it was only for our use that would be one thing but because of the increased traffic because of the other two facilities we feel we need some help,” he said.

Ms Harrington agreed the upgraded road would be a plus for all users of the showgrounds.

“This roadway will benefit all stakeholders of the site and all other users of the precinct such as the community, pony club, showjumping club, cattle sales, RV show and the major Ulysses event will benefit when it is held there next year,” she said.

Ms Harrington said construction costs for the road were already covered in the city’s budget. The move comes as the show society puts out a call for new faces to attend its annual general meeting on Tuesday night, as it begins to make plans to revamp the annual show, held in March.

“It’s difficult now, years ago people waited all year for the show and it was a big deal to go,” Mr Hogan said.

“Now there’s so much different entertainment all year round, and things cost a lot more too.”

A revamp could include a step back in time — Mr Hogan said with so little of Wodonga’s rural history surviving, the society was keen to bring back more traditional show attractions.

That might include a renewed focus on cattle, poultry, alpacas, horse, and art and craft shows.

Society secretary Katrina Gollan said while there were many user groups — including pony clubs and woodworkers — they hoped to attract the next generation of farmers to compete and wanted to focus on junior events. To get involved head to the AGM on Tuesday at 7pm, at the Peter Adams pavilion.