Opinion: it makes sense to move Claremont Showgrounds

Claremont Showground.
Claremont Showground.

THE old Yorkshire saying “Where there’s muck, there’s brass” refers to how there is money in manure.

And there’s plenty of that from livestock at each Perth Royal Show at the Claremont Showground.

So the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), State Government and Claremont council should start shovelling some of it to see what can be grown from this underused, 30ha asset, of which the RAS has 7.7ha freehold, and explore moving the showgrounds to a purpose-built venue outside of Claremont.

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Previous projects have shown the way, including shifting Sydney’s Royal Show, moving the old Claremont Speedway to Kwinana or the once-previously maligned Optus Stadium replacing Subiaco Oval.

Development of the showgrounds may be the financial injection needed to secure the RAS through the 21st century.

Agriculture has a great role in WA and its adoption of new technologies, how it deals with climate change and the effects of modern trade, are just some of the issues that should be educated to the general public in 21st-century facilities.

The Government could also get a financial windfall by developing the current site and any new venue on Perth’s outskirts may provide jobs, fit with an increasingly vaunted drive for more tourism in WA, and not leave a 30ha site virtually empty 11 months of the year when there is a need for more housing density in Perth.

The public now demands a greater standard at venues and livestock, rides and rural life demonstrations no longer competes against the digital onslaught.

Of course there would eventually be a rates boom for Claremont council if the site was developed in to residential, so perhaps Claremont could make the RAS an offer that would have them receive some of that revenue to sweeten the deal.

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