Casino showgrounds and racecourse reopens as a major hub for events

Department of Home Affairs

Joint media release with the Hon Tara Moriarty MLC

Casino Showgrounds and Racecourse has reopened as a major hub for events in regional New South Wales through support from the Australian and NSW Governments.

The project received almost $12.9 million in joint funding under the co-funded Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, with an additional $30,000 from Richmond Valley Council, putting the facility on the map for equestrian activities and events.

The doors officially opened, Saturday 20 April, to reveal a large undercover arena, an outdoor sand area, a new racing stable complex to accommodate up to 80 horses, and a new truck and float parking area.

The new equestrian exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker and a 50-metre equine pool, will be a huge draw card for equestrians who can use it to improve the fitness of their horses.

Other works completed, such as the powered event camping area, will increase the facility’s ability to host additional events including, country music festivals, car shows, trade shows and markets.

Crucially, to support the community during disasters, the showgrounds also doubles as an evacuation centre and for local farmers to relocate livestock.

These events are expected to boost the local economy by attracting visitors from across NSW to stay in the Northern Rivers and spend money at businesses in the region.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt

“This project not only brings horseracing back to the region, but also, importantly, supports the region to be better prepared to face future severe weather events. It’s particularly great to see the work Richmond Valley Council has put in to ensure the showgrounds will support evacuation efforts, ensuring the community is better prepared and more resilient in the future.

“Both levels of government made a significant investment in this project after the bushfires in 2020 to help the community back on its feet, reopening the impressive facility’s doors to major equestrian competitions and events.

“After a really challenging period, I congratulate those who have worked hard on this project, which will generate and retain jobs, attract visitors, and boost economic activity.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty

“The reopening of the upgraded Casino Showgrounds and Racecourse is a significant day for the Northern Rivers.

“Not only is it an important hub for the equestrian industry in the region and across the state, but it’s also going to provide a meeting spot for the local community to come together, host events and connect with each other.

“We know the Northern Rivers has been heavily impacted by bushfires and floods over the years, so the facility can be used in times of emergency and in response to natural hazards resulting in a disaster.”

Quotes attributable to Richmond Valley Council Mayor Robert Mustow

“The opening is a great occasion for the community to celebrate the showground’s new beginning, and I want to thank the Australian and NSW Governments for providing the funding to create such a marvellous facility.

“Following the devastation of local communities from bushfires and floods, the showground and racecourse upgrade would again boost the Richmond Valley’s standing as a centre of rural excellence and provide a stimulus for the local community.

“These grounds are the home of important local events such as the Casino Show, Beef Week and Gold Cup races, as well as gymkhanas, campdrafts, and rodeos, which bring our community together.

“This upgrade allows these events to flourish again and creates new events from across the country.”

/Public Release. View in full here.