Community & Business

4 June, 2024

$2.3 million repair bill puts show pavilion in jeopardy

THE future of Malanda’s Patrick English Pavilion is in serious doubt after a structural assessment report revealed it would cost $2.3 million just to repair parts of the building to make it safe but not to upgrade other components such as electrical and plumbing systems.

The old Patrick English Pavilion at Malanda is now under threat of being replaced with a modern facility.
The old Patrick English Pavilion at Malanda is now under threat of being replaced with a modern facility.

Tablelands Regional Council has received the report and it will now be up to councillors to determine the future of the building amidst budget constraints.

“Regular structural assessments by external engineers have been conducted on the pavilion since 2016 and the assessment conducted in May focused on general structural condition, adequacy of the subfloor framing, and cost of repairs,” Deputy Mayor Dave Bilney said.

“The major findings of the report are the failure of the curved timber trusses that are the primary structural elements of the building, and failure of framing and other components of the subfloor and stage.

“The supper room is free of structural deficiencies and its condition was rated as fair. We are unable to open the supper room because of the risk of it being damaged if the hall structure collapses.”

Cr Bilney said the repair work required at this stage was estimated at $2.3 million but this did not address other ageing components like the electrical and plumbing systems, and the addition of air conditioning.

“This means the pavilion, including the supper room, will remain closed until the councillors can discuss the future and budget implications of the pavilion,” he said.

Cr Bilney said one of the options was to restart community and stakeholder discussions on a multi-use facility for Malanda that could meet the needs and requirements of a broad range of users.

“This potential new facility is included in our 10-year capital budget, and we are looking at external funding opportunities,” he said.

But Glen Allyn resident and passionate advocate for the Malanda area, Matt Lachlan, has accused the council of neglecting its duty to fix the pavilion and having an agenda to replace it.

“They knew in 2020 that this historic building required $2 million to be spent, now the new report says it is just over $2.3 million. Has there been a deliberate strategy to avoid properly maintaining this building with the ultimate aim to replace it with a modern multi-purpose facility?” he said.

“Clearly certain sections of the community - notably the Chamber of Commerce and some sporting organisations - have championed the demolition of this building and a $5.6 million replacement (in 2020 figures). 

“Why has the wider community, yet again, not been consulted? Why has this building been allowed to degrade to the point that it is unsafe? It is a gross dereliction of TRC’s responsibility for this to have occurred.”

Meanwhile, the show society has announced that the annual ball will not go ahead this year due to the unavailability of a large enough venue to host it.

“We are exploring all feasible options to host a function in September in keeping with our theme ‘Beyond the Stars’. Details will be released in due course,” show manager Kate Stokes said.

Ticket holders for the ball will be contacted in the coming days to issue refunds.

But all is not lost and the show will go on over three days from 5-7 July.

“The Malanda Show is only four weeks away and although it may appear slightly different to previous years, it promises to be just as enjoyable,” Ms Stokes said.

“It is our intention to host all agricultural competitions and exhibits as part of our showgrounds schedule – dairy cattle, prime beef cattle, stud beef, horses, Nigerian goats and poultry - and continue to offer a true family-orientated agricultural show.

“Unfortunately, with the closure of the show pavilion, it is impossible to accommodate a pavilion elsewhere within the grounds for 2024. With a huge show patronage in recent years space is of a premium and this decision has not been made lightly.

“Relevant stall holders, stewards and exhibitors will be contacted to discuss options in the coming days.”

Ms Stokes said it was more important than ever that locals come out to support the annual event.

“Our Show Management Committee is working tirelessly to facilitate this year’s show and have been working closely with Tablelands Regional Council. We greatly appreciate their commitment and support to help bring to you the best show possible under these difficult circumstances,” Ms Stokes said.

“The Malanda Show has faced many challenges in the 108 years of our history, and it will continue to thrive from many years to come.

“Please, now is when we need your support more than ever. Malanda Show is a huge event for our region, if you have ever thought about volunteering, offering financial or in-kind sponsorship, or simply wish to attend our show, now is your time.”

The show society’s office is now at 35 James Street (in TRC’s building). Call 0447 965 000 or email to offer assistance or for more information.

Tickets can be booked online at


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