EMOTIONS between Orange City Council and members of the Showground Action Group nearly reached boiling point on Monday night over the proposed relocation of the Orange Showground to a multipurpose facility at Towac Park.
A meeting between council and the action group was arranged for Monday and discussions were based around the four options for the Orange Showground but with a focus on relocating to Towac Park.
The action group is against that idea and prefers to see council spend money towards redeveloping the showground.
But on Monday night tensions between the two groups rose to a new high.
When council’s director of enterprise services Stephen Sykes was discussing the option of moving the showground to Towac Park, a showground supporter interjected and raised his voice over the top of Mr Sykes’s presentation.
Orange mayor John Davis stepped in and asked for the supporter to give Mr Sykes a fair go.
Mr Sykes continued on with his presentation.
Asked about the heated meeting on Monday night, action group president Ron Gander downplayed the incident.
“It was all sorted out,” Mr Gander said.
“People disagree from time to time but we are still friends.
“When we disagree we disagree with respect ... we are firm but we treat them with respect.”
Mr Gander said councillors understood the action group’s position and he was thankful that council had given the group the chance to express their concerns.
He said the group preferred the showground remain at its current location.
“On practical purposes we can’t fit at Towac Park,” he said.
Redeveloping the showground at its current location has been estimated to cost $5.2 million.
Mr Gander said the action group had received some support from councillors.
Councillor Neil Jones is one of those supporters.
“I’m an advocate for the land to remain as community land,” Cr Jones said.
The Showground Action Group will soon be meeting with the Minister for Local Government Don Page and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson.
Orange City Council will vote on the fate of the Orange Showground at its next council meeting on June 16.