The clack of riding boots echoed through the new expansive agricultural pavilion at Seymour’s Kings Park on Thursday, as the multi-purpose space was officially opened to the public.
The large open but undercover shed with two event spaces at the rear replaced the two ageing pavilions, and was used for the first time at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo earlier this month.
The upgrade was jointly funded by the Mitchell Shire Council and a Federal Government Building Better Regions grant, forming a combined total of over $950,000. Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society has also been investing in the reserve since it was first developed close to 120 years ago.
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum, Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson and society president Jason Ronald formally opened the site and welcomed the community, as well as and the shed’s builders and architects.
“Being an old shed builder by trade I’ve checked out the building and I that reckon you’ve done very well,” Mr Drum said.
“The multi-purpose use rooms down this end of the facility just means that you open up the opportunities for the community more so than just the undercover open space.”
Mr Drum thanked the council for putting the project at the top of its priority list and the government for matching council’s input.
“The Building Better Regions fund is all about: how do we provide for the regions? And how do we provide for the regions in a way that’s going to help those communities that are prepared to help themselves?” he said.
“With [the council’s] backing, the Federal Government has come home on top to match that funding, and we end up with something like this.”
The construction took two months and was completed on time and on budget.
Mr Drum said a range of groups would benefit from the new facility, including Seymour Riding Develops Abilities and Seymour Cutting Club, as well as events such as Seymour Alternative Farming Expo and the Seymour Show in October.
Cr Sanderson said the new site offered a lot of potential for the shire’s economy.
“This will serve the community for years and years to come, it looks like a really solid structure,” she said.
“One thing we hope will happen is that other events will come to Seymour now and the Mitchell Shire,” she said.
“Despite a number of cancellations and postponements of events, we’re excited to now get this pavilion open and see tourism return to Seymour.
“The groups are dedicated and work hard to ensure Seymour is on the map.”