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Showground future under microscope

slacky-flat-showground-1954-queens-visit

Slacky Flat Greyhound Track in 1954. This photo was taken when Queen Elizabeth II visited Bulli and was driven around the track in a Landrover cheered on by thousands of people.

bulli-showground-air

Wollongong City Council is working on a long-term plan for the Bulli Showground Precinct and is asking for the community to get involved and share their thoughts.

As part of the first phase of this important project, community feedback is being collated to inform a needs assessment.

Through this engagement process Council will collect a range of information, including how the community might like to see this site used in the future.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said what the Council learns through the first phase will be used in the second phase – the development of a draft masterplan that will guide the long term plan for the site.

“The Bulli Showground Precinct is currently used for greyhound racing, farmers’ and craft markets and events like the Illawarra Folk Festival,’’ he said.

“And we’re not saying these are off the agenda. We’re just opening up a conversation with the community to see how they would like this site used in the future so we can start planning for the long term.’’

The Bulli Showground Precinct has been used as a space for recreation, social activities and sporting events since the 1890s. It was a temporary campsite during the Depression, and toured by Queen Elizabeth in 1954. Greyhound racing has taken place here since 1950, and the Bulli Show Society held its first show in 1953.

“There is no doubt this site has a long history and has played a key role in the northern suburbs since the 1890s,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“What we’re looking at now is how we can plan for the site’s future. This process will identify constraints to the site, what the community wants from it and how we might use it to its full potential into the future.

“This is not an overnight process. There is a great deal of work to be done here to ensure the Precinct grows and meets the community’s needs and expectations in 10, 20 and even 30 years time.”

The Bulli Showground Precinct is on Grevillea Park Road, in Bulli, and is generally classified as Community Land and a smaller portion near the highway is Cultural Significance land. The 9.1ha site is bordered by Roads and Maritime Services-owned land, the Princes Highway and Hobart Street.

For more information, or to get involved, look at Council’s ‘Have Your Say‘ website where feedback can be given through a short survey or upload comments online.

If you would like to speak to Project Consultants or and Engagement Officer you can come along to one of the on-site Community Information Stalls on Saturday September 15 from 5.30-7.30pm or on Sunday September 16 between 9.30am-2pm.

For more information, visit council’s ‘Have Your Say‘ website.

If you’d like to know more about the project, you can contact Council’s Customer Service Team on (02) 4227 7111.

For further history of Slacky Flat visit the Looking Back website.

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney newspaper journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now a senior journalist with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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