More cash for park

By Olivia Duffey

Another $111,000 in funding has been secured for improvements at Deniliquin’s Memorial Park.

The COVID-19 stimulus package money announced on Monday will be added to $200,000 from the Showground Stimulus Funding Program announced last month.

The combined funding will be used to improve the safety, use and condition of infrastructure at Memorial Park and support jobs in the local economy.

Council’s priority will be to implement some of the recommendations in the Memorial Park Masterplan, which was developed in consultation with user groups.

Deniliquin Show Society president Graham Doncon said any upgrades to Memorial Park will be welcomed.

‘‘Plenty of work needs to be done, so it is fantastic to see this funding go into upgrades that will benefit all Memorial Park user groups,’’ he said.

‘‘The society’s main hope and wish is to see the toilet block near the pavilion upgraded, as it is one of the oldest in town.

‘‘Even if the upgrades are simple things such as irrigation, stormwater works, road and clearing paths, it will help everyone.

‘‘We will do what we need to support (Edward River) council as they implement these upgrades, to ensure the best possible outcomes for all user groups.’’

Council director of infrastructure Oliver McNulty said the new funding will be used for a variety of short term projects, some of which will start in the next two to three months.

‘‘We will be replacing all the seating around the main oval,’’ Mr McNulty said.

‘‘We will also install a better fence around the cricket oval because of issues with rabbits and kangaroos damaging the grounds.

‘‘This funding will also be used to create additional parking opposite the tennis courts and formalise a new entrance into the reserve between the main oval and Deniliquin Netball Association courts.’’

An additional $735,000 from round two of the Stronger Country Communities Drought fund announced in 2019 will be used for the construction of change rooms and amenities block for the Rhinos Cricket Club and Deniliquin Netball Association, upgrade of storm water drainage system, upgrade of existing playgrounds and entrance signage and landscaping. The dressing room will be available for utilisation by other reserve users.

Council has also committed money to replace the toilet amenities near the pavilion.

‘‘These are things that might not necessarily be in the Memorial Park Masterplan but need to be done to support future development,’’ Mr McNulty said.

Other long term projects in the Memorial Park Masterplan include turfing bare areas, adding storage and seating at the smaller oval, the installation of a permanent track for the Miniature Railway, the expansion of the deck and addition of a medical room for Rovers Football Club, canteen renovations, T-intersection and roadworks, additional car parking.
The upgrades come at a good time, with planning for the 2021 Deniliquin Show progressing.

‘‘Last week we met for the first time since this year’s show to discuss what happened at the event and what we need to do moving forward,’’ Mr Doncon said.

‘‘We have also been talking with other show committees in Group 9, which include those in surrounding towns, and they are all hoping that when we come into the new year all of these shows can go ahead.

‘‘So we have not stopped planning, and won’t stop until we receive advice that we can’t go ahead with the annual event.’’

The Deniliquin Show is held the first weekend of March each year.  This year’s event was held one week before Australia went in to Coronavirus lockdown.