August started off with a bang with the Queensland Outdoor and Adventure Expo held on the first weekend. This event grows from strength to strength each year with an increased number of exhibitors and an increase in the size of sites. Over 20 000 people attended the event. These type of expo's, where the majority of exhibitors are from outside Toowoomba, are an economic boon to the region. The majority of motels were full and with so many people in town, the spend on meals, fuel etc is massive. It is estimated that this event alone provides a $5 million bonanza to the city.
Another significant event on the calendar is the Beef Expo held from the 30th August to the 1st September. Now in its second year the expo promotes all things beef and includes a led steer competition, hoof and hook competition, all breeds auction, seminars, safety demonstrations and Poker Rodeo Ranch Sorting competition which will include a team from America. The RASO will also open the Cattleman's Bar as a steakhouse offering a choice of either grass or grain fed rumps.
September is shaping up to be the busiest month on the societies calendar. Following the Beef Expo the grounds will stage a Militaria Expo, Antiques Et Collectables Expo, National Pony Club Championships, Australian lnterschool Equestrian Championships, The Total Equine Expo and 3 caravan rallies.
Our discussions with both Toowoomba Regional Council and the State Government on future infrastructure development, maintenance and master planning continue. Although it seems to be progressing slowly the RASO committee are committed to ensure that the Toowoomba Showgrounds maintains its presence as the largest and most beneficial community asset in the region. It is imperative that we develop and maintain a safe, vibrant, economically sustainable venue to continue to attract local, regional, state and national events to the region.
The Comet Windmill is almost complete with only the security fencing and plaque to be installed. Following a recent discussion with our neighbours we are looking at developing a park and water habitat at the front entrance. It is planned that the silt be cleaned out of the dam and additional tree plantings can be done around this area and along our entrance road. As one of the residents said, "This is our showgrounds and we all must take ownership of it" I couldn't agree more.
Until next time.
Chief Executive Officer