Showground bookings coming online

THE recently rejuvenated Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will be open for bookings from Monday 3 June.

A total $12.8 million was provided under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund to help transform the site into a regional centre for equestrian activities and major community events. Combined with additional funding from the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands and Council, this brought the total investment in the redevelopment to $14.4 million.

The new facility includes a large undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas and covered stables, a new racehorse stable complex to accommodate up to 80 horses, and new car, truck and float parking areas.

The new racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker and a 50-metre equine pool, will be a huge draw card for the facility. Other works completed, such as the powered event camping areas, will increase the facility’s ability to host additional events including, country music festivals, car shows, trade shows and markets.

Richmond Valley Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said although the official opening took place on Saturday 20 April, which was a committed date to recognise the appreciation of government funding, the unfortunate voluntary administration of the principal contractor for the project had left some essential construction work incomplete.

Mr Macdonald said this included projects such as the high-voltage power upgrade, the completion of the equine training area, and some fencing to enable the safe use of all facilities.

In addition to these factors, he said the ongoing wet weather being experienced across the Northern Rivers had caused further delays with many areas of the facility being saturated and not suitable for use, as had been the case for many sporting facilities across the region where cancellations have been necessary to avoid damage.

“Pending the finalisation of the power upgrades, the covered arena will be limited to daylight use only, as the events which have been held at the facility have required the hire of a generator to power the new elements at the facility,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Council is working with the administrator and sub contractors to finalise the project as soon as possible – and in line with tendered project costs.”

Mr Macdonald said Council would also be considering its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its meeting next week.

He said the policy included the proposed fees for the use of the facility and would be publicly exhibited for 28 days following the meeting, with feedback and submissions from the community welcomed.

“Following positive consultation sessions with user groups prior to the opening, and as outlined in Council’s April meeting report, new licence agreements have been offered to the existing user groups for an initial 12-month period based on their previous agreements, facilities used and the same fees being charged,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Council would like to thank all existing stakeholders and those new interested users we are hearing from for your patience while we finalise the project, which has been delayed by the unfortunate voluntary administration of the head contractor for the project.

“We look forward to opening all elements of this facility for the whole community.”

Bookings can be made via Council’s venue hire website – Bookable.

For further information please call 6660 0300 or email

Have Your Say...

Quick Contact

"*" indicates required fields

Search Council's website

Type your search query here to find relevant pages on the Richmond Valley Council site.