CONSULTATION UNDERWAY FOR THE FUTURE OF THE SHOWGROUNDS DAPTO

Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural (AH) Society has received the early results of its community consultation campaign seeking comments on the future of the Showgrounds Dapto.

“Community consultation is integral to the future planning activities of the showgrounds and the positive interest and community support we have received has been overwhelming,” Dapto AH Society CEO, Katrina Novak said.

“Some months ago, we released “The Groundz” document which outlined a draft vision for the future of the showgrounds,” she said.

“Earlier this year we launched a comprehensive community consultation process, including conducting an Illawarra Regional Information Service (IRIS) survey that has now been completed.”

Mrs Novak said according to the results 80% of respondents support a dining and family recreational precinct as a key feature to any future planning.

“The vast majority of respondents indicated they would regularly visit “the Groundz” if it offered; a cinema; an indoor and outdoor family eatery; a café precinct; live music and concerts; restaurants and wine bars; and a large outdoor children’s playground and parklands.”

She added that the IRIS survey also showed that while some local residents supported certain facilities, it was not necessarily related to their likelihood to attend those particular facilities.

“In fact, according to respondents, the most important facilities to offer is a large outdoor playground and sports field, yet over 80% of respondents indicated that they are most likely to attend restaurants, wine bars and a café precinct,” she said.

“Interestingly the member and stakeholder survey completed revealed consistent findings to that of the IRIS survey, highlighting an indoor and outdoor family eatery and a large outdoor children’s playground of particular interest.”

Mrs Novak said the surveys showed that while one in four of those surveyed were supportive of greyhound racing continuing at the showground, more than around 80 per cent said they were extremely unlikely to attend greyhound racing anytime in the next 12 months.

Chairperson, Noel Leslie said: “While all this takes time, we need to make sure we get it right for the local community, while ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the Dapto AH Society.”

Mrs Novak said that as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted, face-to-face meetings will resume, and various workshops and forums are back on the agenda with key stakeholders and neighbours.

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