While the 2020 Condobolin Show suffered the same fate as all but a handful of Australia’s 508 agricultural shows, 192 of which are in NSW, the association and secretariat still functioned, with some activities going ahead.
In addressing the recent AGM of the Condobolin PAH and I Association, President, Jeff Kirk presented the following report on the 2020 year.
“I would like to thank Carol-Ann for her hard work over the past year. Although we were unable to have a show due to COVID-19 there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work with grant applications and associated implementations, a barrage of emails which all have to be read and dealt with plus a number of regular commitments to the Agricultural Societies Council state and federal bodies and so on.
“In recognition of what would have been Show week Pavilion stewards and our Showgirl stewards along with Condobolin High School, collated and mounted displays of their respective classes in Bathurst Street shop fronts. To all involved in those displays, with special mention to the business proprietors, huge appreciation is extended for recognising the importance of the Show to the community and for raising the spirits of all who appreciated the spectacle. Along with the trophy display window these were so popular that we were asked to keep most displays in place for another week or two.
“Even with COVID restrictions we were able to run the 25th Crop of the Year Competition with a low-key inspection tour in October. I had the privilege of doing the tour with Graham McDonald and Paul Lukins who was our District Agronomist when this gross margins competition was first held.
“This was a very enjoyable day and as you would imagine a most informative trip. We saw a lot of very impressive crops and a lot of innovative ideas and enthusiasm with the fantastic season we have had. My congratulation to McDonald Bros Farming for producing their very impressive Canola crop which took out the first place.
“In February, the 41st annual Don Brown Memorial Merino Ewe competition was most successful. The annual dinner was also strongly supported and as usual a nice night. A big thank you to all our sponsors once again this year. Congratulations to Karu Pastoral’s Harold, Phillip and Meg Crouch on winning in what was a strong field. Thank you to the entrants, spectators, judges Danny Picker, Will Roberts and associate Emma Northey and the organising committee.
“A number of applications have been successfully sought this past year. The power upgrade at the SRA Ground to overcome problems with supply on the eastern (horse camping) side of the Showground is complete. This grant was a federal government funded Regional Agricultural Show Development Grant which was awarded pre-COVID and required this association to contribute a quarter of the cost.
“We have also been successful in applying for the two rounds of the state government Showgrounds Stimulus Funding. The first replaced the damaged half of the roof of the Norman Dawson (Sheep) Pavilion, reinforced rotting poles and replaced the ancient storage shed.
“The second was for a critical power upgrade at the SRA Ground. Many will recall that the energy provider regularly points out that an upgrade is long overdue as the aged and overloaded power infrastructure poses a risk to the supply to the whole ground. An upgrade will be of huge benefit to the whole community and every user of the SRA Ground and buildings.
“Showground Stimulus Funding grants were introduced to fund maintenance and improvements in NSW showgrounds where the annual Show was cancelled due to COVID; they are aimed at maintaining the sustainability of shows and importantly, allowing the engagement of local tradespeople to stimulate economic growth in communities impacted by drought and COVID-19. We were happy that this grant of close to $300,000 was awarded in October to our application and the monies paid to the SRA Ground manager (Lachlan Shire Council) shortly after. We are advised that this work will commence very shortly.
“On the subject of Lachlan Shire Council, we also thank them for works undertaken on a similar grant for which they successfully applied and that is levelling and sealing of the car park immediately inside the main gate (just off the bridge) on Buttenshaw Avenue (adjacent to the Rugby League Timmins Oval). It is the staging area for large feature attractions at the Show and for some years now has been more commonly used as part of the display area for the Vintage and Veteran Restoration Club and many visiting vehicles.
Yet another grant was the federal government’s Agricultural Show Financial Support for refund of approved expenses by Show societies where COVID forced the cancellation of the annual Show. We were successful in applying for the maximum $15,000.
“All that remains is to thank our 2019 Condobolin Showgirl, Reba Nicholson, for graciously continuing in the role in spite of little related activity this year.
“If all the hurdles of running an event such as our show under COVID restriction and rules can be achieved I hope to see everyone at our 2021 show. To achieve this, along with any Show that is conducted in Australia this year, we will need a larger than usual number of volunteers to assist our small committee.
“Please contact our secretary to find out more if you or your family or club can offer some time on 27th or 28th August – even just an hour or two.”
Contributed by Carol-Ann Malouf.