Three strikes for Oberon Showground as events cancelled

Oberon Showground
Oberon Showground

THREE major events have now been cancelled in Oberon because of the condition of the main arena at the Oberon Showground.

The Oberon Campdraft was cancelled in November, the Oberon Rodeo, scheduled to be held this month, was cancelled late in January and the horse events at the Oberon Show were postponed in the lead-up to the annual event.

The reason is a recycled landfill product spread over the arena which contained glass, plastics and other additives.

Oberon Showground Trust chairman Wayne White said the product was introduced to improve drainage, but the Trust had no knowledge that this particular product was being used.

"We were made aware of the issue when the campdraft was cancelled. And they made that decision from advice from their governing body, ABCRA,” he said.

“The reason was cited as safety issues for stock and humans.

"At that stage, the product had not been properly ploughed in and covered.

“The Trust didn't do anything with it as we knew it would settle and we had the rodeo and show events coming up. It was their decision not to run their events, not ours.

"We subsequently contacted the Department of Lands, who had an independent risk assessor come in and he has determined the arena to be ‘as very little risk to public safety’.

"Something has to be done as cancelling three major events is detrimental to the Oberon economy and reputation of these organisations."

Mr White said considering the condition of the arena now, he would not hesitate to run his trotters on the surface.

"I know pacing trainers who use this sort of product on their training tracks,” he said.

"We have the Vintage Fair coming up in a few weeks, so we cannot top soil it now. It will be right for car owners."

Mr White said the Trust will meet in the near future and a decision will be made about what direction to take.