Race-goers and show attendees will no longer be left in the dark thanks to a grant from the NSW Government’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders announced $168,276 for Dubbo Regional Council to undertake an electrical upgrade at the Dubbo Showground.
“The Dubbo Showground is one our region’s most iconic landmarks, but it’s also ageing and the 25-year-old track and arena lighting is no longer fit for purpose,” Mr Saunders said.
“It’s fantastic to be able to secure this funding so the lights can stay on, so to speak!
“This project will give user groups like Dubbo Harness Racing Club and Dubbo Show Society – which inject a lot of money into our economy – greater certainty, enhance safety at the facility and help council attract more major events to our region!”
Stage 1 of the project will see redundant cabling and light fittings removed and the installation of new cabling, conduit, switchboard and fuse panel.
The work will pave the way for further lighting upgrades down the track.
Dubbo Harness Racing Club treasurer Peter Bray said the grant makes it possible to secure its night racing facility, after three blackouts in as many years.
“If the electricity fails, which it has done, we have to cancel the race and there’s people who have come from Bathurst and Orange who have had to go home without even racing,” Mr Bray said.
“The upgrade wouldn’t be possible without this grant. It’s the difference between racing and not racing, that’s the bottom line.”
Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Mathew Dickerson welcomed the funding, saying a good relationship between council and the NSW Government is “essential”.
“The Dubbo Showground is one of our most recognisable landmarks, and council is committed to the renewal of current, ageing infrastructure to ensure the community has continued access to the facilities well into the future,” Councillor Dickerson said.
“If you have better lighting you can attract more events and give people confidence that we’ve got the infrastructure in place and they can be confident hosting those events.”