Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Show counts costs of mini-tornado damage

The aftermath of a mini-tornado which ripped through Echuca showgrounds on New Year's Day has put strain on funding for the next show in November, organisers say.

ALEX BATHMAN January 24, 2014 4:50am

Peter White from the Echuca Show Society.

A mini-golf set-up, trailer, portable stockyards and other Echuca-Moama Show paraphernalia still lies beneath what used to be a storage shed at Echuca Showgrounds.

The condemned building is a pile of iron sheets, fallen timber and rubble after a mini-tornado hit the showgrounds on New Year’s Day.

The reported winds of up to 70km/h hit the showground minutes before 1500 people arrived for the annual New Year’s Day harness races.

Echuca-Moama Show Society president Peter White said the society could only estimate the cost of damage.

‘‘We have not been able to (sort through) it yet to see the actual damage of it,’’ he said.

‘‘We are waiting for the insurance company to do an assessment, but the mini-golf set-up cost about $30,000 alone.’’

Mr White said the aftermath of the storm has put strain on funding for the next show in November.

‘‘The insurance excess will take away from the show’s funding. Because we were down on gate takings last year we are going to have to find funding of about $10,000 to $12,000,’’ he said.

‘‘We need a lot of community support.’’

Mr White said that the Echuca-Moama Show gave the wider community members an opportunity to come together.

Echuca Harness Racing Club general manager Steve Ferguson said the mini-tornado had prompted discussions about the infrastructure of the showgrounds.

‘‘We will have to act on this together to resolve the issues of the buildings as they are very old. A lot of assessment needs to be done to see what is viable,’’ he said.

‘‘Until then we are very lucky — it was scary on the night.’’

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