THREE popular country race and rodeo events will be able to carry out key infrastructure upgrades to help increase crowd and volunteer safety, improve animal comfort and boost attendance, thanks to the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has today congratulated the proponents of the three successful projects, announcing:
- up to $16,034 to the Mount Carbine Rodeo Association to extend their stockyards
- up to $19,519 to the Cooktown Amateur Turf Club to install shade sails
- up to $ 18,000 to the Laura and District Rodeo and Camp Draft Association to upgrade cattle yards and water systems
“These grants are about boosting the vibrancy and liveability of our communities and helping the entire region grow,” said Mr Entsch.
“The Mt Carbine Bull and Bronc Ride has been running for the past 15 years – it’s a local institution attracting around 1000 people to the Mt Carbine community annually. I’m excited to see how much more we can grow this event through this funding, which will contribute towards extending the back stock yards, building a new office, and purchasing a new loading ramp and water troughs.”
President of the Mt Carbine Rodeo Association Alan Pedersen said the funding will not only help construct much needed infrastructure, but will also boost the morale of their committee and event volunteers.
“By allowing more room for stock segregation, we’ll be able to improve the safety of our backyard workers, add to the spectators experience, and help the rodeo event to flow more smoothly,” said Mr Pedersen.
“The other advantage is, once an event is completed, the stock will be able to be quickly fed and ‘put to bed’ – lifting our animal welfare standards, which we are highly conscious of.”
The upgrade is expected to be finished this month.In Cooktown, the Amateur Turf Club (CATC) will install 12 shade sails at the Cooktown racecourse, creating outdoor shaded social spaces for community and commercial events.
“The colourful sails will provide shade and sun protection at the main entrance to the clubhouse, and for people watching events,” Mr Entsch said.
“This’ll make it more comfortable for race day and event attendees and encourage more people to support these wonderful local activities. It’ll also make the venue more attractive for hosting other community events and commercial hire – helping to increase the club’s financial independence.”
Club Treasurer Barry Innes said CATC was “absolutely over the moon” to receive the grant for the shade sail project.
“This will add immensely to race goers’ comfort and most importantly, with Queensland now rated as the worst in the world for skin cancer, CATC will be contributing to the better health of our community members,” Mr Innes said.
“These shade structures will also be available for use by other community groups, such as horse sports, junior rugby league and friends of the foundation etc. We would also at this time, like to congratulate Warren on his win at the recent election. Warren is a very strong supporter of CATC and is always on hand to lend advice to our small not-for-profit organisation.”
At Laura, the upgrade will replace existing cattle yards that are considered unsafe, and install a dust suppression system to make event days more pleasant and safe for the public and stock.
“The new yards feature low-stress stock handling yard panels, and a water system to keep the dust down and to cool stock if needed,” Mr Entsch said. “This will result in more efficient and safer movement of stock, and a more welcoming environment for the public, competitors and volunteers.”
Laura and District Rodeo and Camp Draft Association Secretary Debbie Gostelow said it had been a big year for the rodeo and camp draft, but it had paid off with the club’s hard work culminating in a fantastic weekend alongside the Laura races and horse sports.
“We are looking forward to getting stuck into the work to upgrade and improve our yards and water system which will be a huge help getting ready for our big 40th anniversary event in 2017,” she said.
The Australian Government, in the 2015-16 Budget, provided $45 million over two years to fund small capital projects (between $5,000 and $20,000) in each of the 150 federal electorates.
An independent panel, working with Mr Entsch, has been able to allocate $150,000 in total each year to projects in Leichhardt with proponents making a dollar-for-dollar contribution.
“By doing this, we’ve been able to leverage the greatest benefit from the funding and it also makes sure that communities have ownership of the projects into the future,” Mr Entsch said.
Round 2 of the Stronger Communities Program has now closed and applications are being assessed, with successful projects currently being announced for funding in the 2016-17 financial year.