Please take a seat, the show?s about to start



ERIC Schneider has been coming to the Rockhampton Showgrounds since 1946 and he thinks the grounds are looking better than ever with the addition of new grandstand seating.

"It looks terrific, they were definitely needed and they are a real asset to the showgrounds,'' Mr Schneider said as he sat in the Robert Archer Grandstand.

Mr Schneider has seen many changes over the past 60 years after he first visited the venue as a steward with the Junior Farmers group.

"The grounds have changed dramatically since then, especially in the last three years or so,'' Mr Schneider said. "I remember when the pig and calf saleyards were still part of the showgrounds.''

Mr and Mrs Schneider have lived just around the corner from the showgrounds in Wandal for the past 33 years and have volunteered to help at the show for the past 10 years.

Work on the new seating is due to be completed in the next few weeks as part of a $650,000 upgrade for the grandstand.

Showgrounds manager Meegan Armstrong said the new seating cost $75,000 as part of the overall grandstand refurbishment.

"Initial works on the grandstand started in February 2005, and will be completed in the next few weeks, just in time for Beef 2006,'' Mrs Armstrong said.

The grandstand area has been a major part of a redevel- opment plan at the showgrounds which is also near completion.

"The Robert Schwarten Pavilion has been bird-proofed, a rear portion of the James Lawrence Pavilion has been refurbished, a new electrical box has been installed at the entrance to centre ring, and a new electrical pit in centre ring is complete,'' Mrs Armstrong said.

The development was intended to create a multi-use facilty of a high standard to cater for large events.



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