AN approved master plan for the Winton Showgrounds, written by the Winton Shire Council, has led to successful new installations for the show this year – and has more to come.
According to Winton Shire Council Mayor Name, the master plan, approved in the recent council meeting, was conjured so the council could have a clear plan for progressing the showgrounds into the next 10 years.
“[It’s] a plan moving forward into the future that is in agreement with what infrastructure we wanted in the showgrounds, and this is where we want to have it,” he said.
Before creating the document, the council went through consultation with all the showground’s interest groups, as to what would be most fitting for their events.
The council then handed consultation to the general public, and while Cr Baskett said it was impossible to get 100 per cent agreement on what would go into the master plan, the document contained what was the general consensus.
The Showground Users Committee, which is an amalgamation of the different groups that use the showgrounds, had the ultimate say on the masterplan, after consultation with an architect.
The master plan has already been with the recent upgrades to the cattle yards unveiled at the show.
Other new inclusions to the showgrounds include a power upgrade, a new toilet, and shower block facility behind the grandstands, a renewal of the stables, and a new car park on the side of the racecourse.
Cr Baskett said the new stables run east-west, rather than north-south, which is much more comfortable for the horses, as they will not have to contend with the sun.
One of the highlights of the masterplan fathers is a new centrepiece/spire to be built on the showgrounds, which can be seen from a distance for travellers who wish to attend the events held there.
“[It] will sit in the middle where everyone congregates and is a statement that will have a sign that says ‘Winton’,” Cr Baskett said.
He said that when they do decide to go ahead with the centrepiece there will be further community consultation.
“Everything we do in Winton, every stage we take will involve community consultation — like with the stables, we dealt heavily with the racing committees to make sure the stables are fit-for-purpose,” he said.
“The master plan said this will go here that will go there but it doesn’t delve actually the infrastructure of the projects.
“So when you start to build it, then you’re dealing with how it will actually work.”
He said the master plan will add a lot to the longevity of the showgrounds.
“Over the years, things have been added to the showgrounds mostly through accessing funding, and then if you decide to do something with the funding and after you have done it you might decide ‘oh it could have been better if we did that or we could have engaged more with the community,” he said.
“But this [the masterplan] gets the process done now, and while other things will pop up — it’s a moving document, so in 20 years if someone decides to do something that is not on the plan, we can talk about it add to it, but at least it gives council that direction.
“So when funding turns up, we can use that to do the power upgrade and to do the stables; without the masterplan, it may have taken a bit longer, but we had the masterplan there and we knew with the stables we could put the money in there.”
Cr Baskett said the priorities in the plan can be changed according to available funding in that some projects may be higher in priority but there may not be enough funding, meaning a less expensive project may take precedence.
He hoped everything in the master plan would be completed in the next 10 years.
General Manager of the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies Name commended the council on what they’ve been doing with the showgrounds.
He said many show societies were envious of the new showgrounds in Winton.
Other projects in the master plan include more public access, designated footpaths, more trees, and safer pedestrian access.
Cr Baskett said it was great to get it done and wanted to thank all of the committees for adding to the conversations — even if at times they were hardy and robust.
“I think moving forward we will see a great facility at the showgrounds.”