Decaying shed slated for new replacement

Decaying Yarram ag shed slated for new replacement


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TIME FOR AN OVERHAUL: Yarram Agricultural Show Society president Jenny Le Brocq stands near the old exhibit shed which is set to be replaced after the federal government announced a $20 million fund to update show facilities. Photo by Marian Macdonald.

TIME FOR AN OVERHAUL: Yarram Agricultural Show Society president Jenny Le Brocq stands near the old exhibit shed which is set to be replaced after the federal government announced a $20 million fund to update show facilities. Photo by Marian Macdonald.

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Yarram Agricultural Show Society says a proposed exhibit shed would serve as a multi-purposed venue for the community.

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A NEW exhibit shed at Yarram is set to be built after the federal government announced it would give agricultural societies across the country a slice of $20 million to upgrade showgrounds and build new attractions.

The new shed will replace the exiting decaying and dilapidated weatherboard structure which has fallen apart in the last few years.

Yarram Agricultural Show Society president Jenny Le Brocq said the outdated shed posed many safety risks with its sloping floors and run-down facade.

"We've had to have a leveller come in before the show each year to even up the floor," Ms Le Brocq said.

"The floor is very dangerous for those coming in for a look during show time and it's hard to push people in a wheelchair."

The new multi-purpose building, which the federal government is expected to provide $250,000 towards, will be built on a new location at the Yarram Showgrounds and be open to community groups to use outside of the agricultural show.

During the show, the shed is home to multiple exhibits including flowers, cooking, student artwork, fruit and vegetables and hand crafts.

"The show's been going for 136 years but I'm not sure how long the shed has been there but would be at least 60 years old," Ms Le Brocq said.

The new shed will boast kitchen facilities, toilets, a secretary's office and ample storage options - all of which are lacking on the existing weatherboard structure.

"We don't have a lot of areas there for storage so it will be able to be used by other groups who would like to store their equipment, as well as using the shed itself," she said.

It will also speed up judging during the event with exhibits not requiring to be set up each morning of the show.

"At the moment a lot of birds get in and cause a mess, but with the new shed we anticipate that won't be an issue," she said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched the Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants at the Burnie show in Tasmania last Friday.

He said agricultural local shows provided an important boost to local tourism for drought-affected areas.

"Agricultural shows are at the heart and soul of our regional communities. They bring communities together and they keep communities together," Mr Morrison said.

Local show societies and state and territory agricultural show bodies can apply for grants up to $500,000 to upgrade, maintain, buy or build new showground infrastructure and attractions.

Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie said the funding would help continue local shows.

"Most of the 580 agricultural shows held annually in Australia are regionally based and they bring communities closer together especially in times of drought and other hardships," she said.

"But we know that showgrounds regularly face challenges of ageing infrastructure and expensive repair bills."

Applications close on December 13 and grant recipients will be announced in the first half of next year.

The $20m for agricultural shows was announced in April as an election commitment.

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