Gladstone show grounds.
Gladstone show grounds. Mike Richards GLA160217SHOW

Council rejects Gladstone Show Society funding

COUNCIL has rejected a funding request from the Gladstone Show Society placing the Gladstone Show's future in doubt beyond 2018.

GSS requested $15,000 from Gladstone Regional Council, although the officer's recommendation was for only $8000 in funds.

The Show Society requested the funding through the third and final round of the Major Events Advisory Panel, which was approved by MEAP.

However a motion was passed refusing the $8000.

Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor said during yesterday's general council meeting the Show Society had "failed, neglected or refused to carry out the requirements of this council in relation to funding requests."

"In no disrespect to the MEAP's decision in relation to funding the Gladstone Show Society.... It is very clear to me that the Gladstone Show Society has failed, neglected or refused to carry out the requirements of this council in relation to funding requests," he said.

"To me the business plan submitted with the application appears to be incomplete and unfinished.

"The problem I have is we are funding $8000 to the Gladstone Show Society out of Gladstone Regional ratepayers' money when by a letter dating April 12, 2018 we all agreed as follows:

'It is clear to council that there is no longer broad community support for the continuation of the Show. Gladstone's annual carnival is now the Gladstone Harbour Festival and the possible future for pastoral and agricultural shows in the district is with an expanded Mt Larcom Show.

'Speedway activities will all now be staged at the Benaraby Motorsport Complex and not Gladstone Showgrounds. The management of the Gladstone Show Society has poor practices with concerns raised over both financial and safety concerns'.

"I just can't agree to support the Show Society's funding this year - you'd have to shoot me and carry me out in a pine box before that happened."


Fireworks display at the 2017 Gladstone Show
Fireworks display at the 2017 Gladstone Show Brad Fry

Cr Trevor raised the issue of parking near the Showground, particularly on Saturday morning's when the Dawson Hwy is full of cars attending junior hockey matches.

"We have a serious safety issue there... the land is not owned by the Show Society - it's public land for the use and benefit of the public," he said.

"We are all acutely aware of a significant safety issue on the Dawson Hwy.

"Despite our contestations and protests to the Gladstone Show (Society) that they open the gates to allow children's parents to access that land to take them off the Dawson Hwy to avoid one of those children being seriously injured, maimed or killed, the Gladstone Show Society has failed, neglected or refused to consider that request from around this table.

"I won't stand idly by in this community and watch and wait until something happens or a young child is killed trying to cross that road on a Saturday morning when that child is trying to innocently attend a sporting event."