In November 2020, Richmond Valley Council received $8.2 million from the joint Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economy Recovery Fund (BLER) to complete the master plan for the Casino Showground and Racecourse redevelopment.
The master plan, which Council adopted in September 2018 after extensive consultation with key stakeholder groups, features a new indoor equestrian arena, redevelopment of the horse racing training stables, and other key renewal projects listed below.
One of the exciting outcomes of the master plan is to position Casino as the equestrian capital of the Northern Rivers, bringing visitors from across the region and interstate, and in turn, will provide a sustained economic boost to the Richmond Valley.
The master plan can be downloaded below.
The full list of planned upgrades include:
• The construction of an indoor arena for equestrian and other agricultural events
• The upgrade of the racing stable complex to provide 80 to 100 new stables
• Rehabilitation and upgrade of the sand-based training track
• Upgrade of the race track proper
• Establishment of a cross-country equestrian course
• New day yards, holding yards and pens to support equestrian events
The establishment of facilities which will support the horse training industry are key to the master plan. Located on high ground, the Casino Racecourse enables training to be undertaken when other tracks in the region are hampered by wet weather and ground conditions. Attracting regional and intestate trainers will also provide a strong benefit to the Casino economy.
Construction of an indoor equestrian arena will see the site become a true equestrian hub. Show jumping, dressage, camp draft, rodeo, and cross country will all be able to be catered for, along with other agricultural shows which may require space, either undercover or in the open.
Following the adoption of the master plan in 2018, Council applied for funding at both State and Federal levels and received $430,000 as part of the Australian Government’s Drought Funding Program. These funds have been allocated to:
• install day stalls and associated infrastructure
• provide facilities to showground users, including pony club
• create camping infrastructure, including an RV short-stay area.
In great news for Casino, the $8.2 million delivered by the Bushfire Local Economy Recovery Fund will enable the completion of the master plan.