Showground owes Mardi Grass
NIMBIN showground is reaping the benefits of Mardi Grass as the A&I Society prepares for the annual cannabis reform festival next weekend.
Society vice president Neville Plush, Nimbin’s former police sergeant, said last year’s profit of $30,000, raised through the canteen and camping facilities, has all been directed back into upgrading vital infrastructure at the historic showground.
“We’ve upgraded the water mains to the showers so there is decent water pressure there now for campers,” he said.
“We’ve also run power in and installed a proper sewerage connection for the toilets.”
Mr Plush has now settled in Nimbin after running the police station there for eight years and is heavily involved in community activities, events and fundraisers.
So why did the town’s former top cop choose to stay in the hemp capital of Australia?
“I like it here. It’s unique but it’s close to everything; the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Lismore,” he said.
“I’ve worked out west in places like Bourke and there’s nothing for miles.”
Last year the showground’s camping was a huge success allowing visitors to experience the whole four-day festival without having to leave the village.
“It’s a great deal – for $80 you can stay from Friday through to Monday and that covers all the camping facilities and all the events at the festival,” Mr Plush said.
“We’ll also have a canteen with sausages, steak sandwiches and coffee at very reasonable prices.
“But what we really need is volunteers. We need people on the ground to keep everything going – we’re hiring from the head down,” he quipped.
Fellow volunteer Anna Kowalezyk added, “We also need star pickets, fencing and road barriers.”
This year local alcohol accords are putting on free busses from Ballina, Wardell, Alstonville, Lismore and Casino.