Council to take over Showground

Lismore City Council resolved at its November meeting to take over the role of trusteeship of the Lismore Showground from the North Coast National A&I Society, despite a number of councillors feeling unsure about what that role would entail.

I have absolutely no idea what the responsibilities of a trustee are, Cr Ros Irwin said. She told Council she had 20 or 30 questions which she needed answered before she could support any such take over and she implored councillors to have a workshop before taking on the new role.

Cr Tomlinson was even more troubled by the move, saying that he had a million questions and feared that Council could end up being a pig in a poke.

The idea to take over the Lismore Showground originated from the A&I Society, who have long been in decline and have struggled to maintain the Showground since being designated trustees in 1989. The new arrangement will mean that the A&I Society can concentrate on organising the annual North Coast National show, while Council takes control and responsibility for the lands. This means renting them out to the A&I Society for the Show and for other events such as the speedway, the farmers market and organic market, and karting activities.

The Lismore Showground is broken up into freehold and Crown lands and this has added to the complexity of the takeover, with the A&I Society likely to continue its ownership and control of a number of the house blocks on site.

Council voted 7/4 to approve the in-principle takeover (Tomlinson, Ekins, Irwin and Swientek against). Mayor Merv King was excluded from proceedings as he is a board member of the A&I Society.


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