Council is key to local show
By JANE GARDNER
LISMORE City Council's meeting tonight will decide whether the historic Lismore Showground will shut its gates for the last time on New Year's Day.
Yesterday's emergency meeting for show society members and showground users disclosed the Lismore Showground Trust's major financial problems could not be fixed with a 'bandaid' approach.
Trust president John Gibson said that without complete commitment from Lismore City Council to provide resources and support, the showground would shut on January 1.
"The message we want to send to council is 'without their support we have no future'," Mr Gibson said.
A report prepared by Lismore City Council's general manager, Paul O'Sullivan, on the crisis facing the showground will be presented to councillors tonight.
Mr O'Sullivan said he was confident the recommendation for the council to provide a $50,000 guarantee to the end of 2006 and in-kind management resources would not be challenged.
"But I'm not suggesting council is going to put their hand in their pocket. They may assist by way of advice and providing access to resources to enable the effect of grant applications," he said.
Mr O'Sullivan said he hoped a business plan and budget would be developed in association with the council within the next 12 months to keep the grounds op- erational.