Council moves to rezone showgrounds
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE City Council has washed its hands of the Gladstone Show, believing the event no longer serves a purpose in the city.
At Wednesday's meeting, the council passed a motion that it would no longer allow the Gladstone Show Society to use Scenery Street to accommodate vehicles.
Gladstone mayor Peter Corones said the decision would not necessarily mean the end of show.
'It doesn't mean they can't use a paddock or something, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the show,' Cr Corones said.
However, the reality of the decision was highlighted by deputy mayor Cr Gail Sellers.
'Well let's be realistic here, it probably will (mean the end of the show),' Cr Sellers said.
The vote was locked at three votes all (Cr Kim Norton absent), with Cr Corones' vote being the decider in his position as mayor. Yesterday Cr Corones said the show had "lost its purpose.'
'I think it's a second cousin to the Harbour Festival, Cr Corones said.
'I think the Mt Larcom Show means more to Gladstone.'
Cr Corones has suggested Gladstone could combine with Mt Larcom for a regional show.
The council will also ask the government for funds to complete a study on the show to determine its future. Cr Corones said the council would facilitate the study.
One person who has supported the council's decision is Walters Avenue resident Ken Nicholson.
'Now that the Gladstone show is over, I believe that there should be some public discussion regarding the future of the show and of the showgrounds,' he said.
'I suggest that the present showgrounds have outlived their usefulness and are too small for the future.'
Cr Corones said an aged care strategic plan had identified the showgrounds site as a potential future aged care facility.
The council will now investigate rezoning the property to improve the chances of such a facility on the site.
Gladstone Show society president Robyn Reddacliff said the loss of Scenery Street would not necessarily mean the end of the show.
Mrs Reddacliff said the Showman's Guild of Australasia was a firm supporter of the Gladstone Show, a claim disputed by Cr Corones who said at Wednesday's meeting that the guild was against the Gladstone Show.