Redevelopment Questions & Answers

Throughout our consultation with various stakeholders, we have recorded the main questions raised.  These questions have varied from user and interest groups depending on their prime reason for being part of, or using, the Hobart Showground.

Corporate sponsors

Please provide a timetable of redevelopment for us so we can assess its likely impact on staging events such as the Wine Show, the Royal Hobart Show and the Fine Food Awards:

It is too early for a timetable at this stage – we are in the early consultation stage. Any work will be planned to minimise disruption to existing events and tenants.

What strategy do you have in place to maintain and increase crowd attendances in the midst of what may be a construction site?

Our strategy is to undertake any development work in stages to minimise the impact on current users, tenants and the conduct of the Royal Hobart Show.  We will also existing publicity and messaging as and when required.

How will construction work affect our physical presence at the Show?

Construction work at the site should not affect sponsors presence at the show, with the exception of defining how a sponsor may be presented in the context of the new Showground.

In your view, is it likely that reconstruction plans will generate some adverse community reaction, with a consequent impact on the generally good reputation the Show enjoys in southern Tasmania?

Our experience to date  is that redevelopment plans will sit well with the general public as well as all levels of government.  We are aiming to create a cost effective multi purpose exhibition precinct that provides amaneties for a variety of community uses. The other issues here are that the Showground is a tired site in both presentation and amenity and will soon become less than what would be expected of a ‘Royal Showground’ or a major public events space.

Do your redevelopment plans indicate a change in direction away from community events at the Showground?

No, our plans are to consolidate the Showground as a permanent place for community events.  We see the Royal Hobart Show as intrinsically important to the events calendar; the weekly market is a community event, as are most of the activities that are currently held on site such as animal shows, public interest shows, sporting events etc.


Will I be required to relocate either temporarily or permanently? If so, how much notice do I get, or should I be looking for other premises now?

All tenants are protected by tenancy leases which outline a period of lease as well as remedies in case of redevelopment.  Any redevelopment will not happen overnight.  There will be an extended planning process along with DA’s and building approvals before any redevelopment commences. RAST is committed to working through any issues with individual tenants as soon as a development timeline becomes clear.  RAST wishes to maintain all of our existing tenants.

This will be disruptive to my operations. What’s your comment on the possibility that I may have a case for compensation?

All tenants are protected by tenancy leases which outline a period of lease as well as remedies in case of redevelopment.  Any redevelopment will not happen overnight.  There will be an extended planning process along with DA’s and building approvals before any redevelopment commences. RAST is committed to working through any issues with individual tenants as soon as a development timeline becomes clear.  RAST wishes to maintain all of our existing tenants.

As for a case for compensation, we will not stray from the protection your lease affords you, so we do not believe there will be any case for compensation.  Secondly on that matter, we are not a massive corporate with deep pockets with funds to compensate – if we were and had those resources we would be looking at different avenues to redevelop the Showground.

If I remain on site, will there be restrictions in terms of the reconstruction, on power supplies, access for customers, and access for goods?

Before any construction occurs we will be going through a massive planning exercise to ensure we have the appropriate approvals, solid business case and the funds to undertake.  Any such works that are likely to effect your business operation will be factored in and given lead times to enable the best outcome as per access to resources and your customers.

What about noise and dust levels? Will they disrupt our business activities?

Any works undertaken will have to conform to Environmental Standards that must be satisfied as part of the DA / Building approval process.  We believe this approach will minimise construction fallout.

How can you guarantee that – when the showground becomes a building site – customers will still come?

Hard to guarantee anything, however being the focal place the Showground is, and yes a place that most of the public have some link with, we believe curiosity will overcome a wish to stay away.  We will be continuing to operate our businesses here, so we will be telling the public we are open for business and encouraging attendance to the site.

Venue users

Our training sessions and sporting fixtures are set in concrete. Will this disrupt in any way our sporting program?

In the short term, no.  Any plans for redevelopment of the site will have a lead time of at least a year being well in excess of the bookings we receive from venue users.

What is the construction program – over what length of time?

The construction program could take as long as 10 years, may not even reach its grand plan, and it will be a staged approach, most likely undertaken in bites or stages between annual Shows.

Even if we can continue using the Showground in the short term, will we be able to use it next year, the year after, and so on?

The answer really depends on your usage, however not every part of the ground is planned for redevelopment at one time.  It is likely to be developed in stages, and being confined to specific areas at one time to ensure that the site can continue to function between Shows and in entirety for each Show.

I note from the plans that the arena will be smaller. Does that preclude any more football at the site?

The arena will be smaller, but in actual fact not much smaller than the current useable area. The actual arena dimension will be about 160m by 80m or around the 12,800m2.  It will be approximately 1/3 of its current size but about ½ of the exisiting useable space as currently about ½ the arena area is in the track, which is unusable for most purposes.

Why should I consider using the Showground in future? It will be a construction zone for months, and considerably altered after that to a configuration that may not be suitable for my activities.

While the Showground will change over this process, it will also  improve its functionality for most current uses.  Key to its assets is its accessibility from all parts of Hobart, onsite parking, multi-functional facilities, large undercover areas and wide open outdoor spaces.  These will be retained.  Our goal is that the site will be more desirable to all current usages.

Market stallholders

What does it mean for the market during the building phase?

The area that the Market occupies is likely to be the last area redeveloped.  We see the Market as a core business of the Showground and will facilitate its ongoing operation either in a new building or temporary location while a new building is constructed.

What sort of accommodation will be provided for the market during construction and once the construction work is completed?

We see the Market as a core business of the Showground and will facilitate its ongoing operation either in a new building or temporary location while a new building is constructed.

In the interim period, how will crowd levels at the market be affected?

Considering that the Market sits in its own area, we do not expect any negative impact on the Market attendances.  The redevelopment as it progresses, and is eventually completed, will encourage greater attendance to the Showground from other uses as well as better Market attendances.

How convenient will parking be during the construction period, both for stall holders and market-goers?

Considering the defined area of the market currently there should be no ill effect on parking. All redevelopment works will need to accommodate more stringent parking requirements aligned to all uses. 

What measures will be taken to assure the public that the market remains open and is an enjoyable experience, even though redevelopment is going on around the market?

It is in our interests to ensure that the public know that the Market is open for business.  Our communications will reinforce this.

RAST section committees/volunteers, other committee user groups

This is a lot of money. Surely it’s not all for the betterment of the Show. Is there another agenda at work here? Is RAST moving in other directions in the future, and if so, what is the role of the Show in RAST’s future plans?

You need to understand that we are indeed planning on a massive investment to bring the Showground into the current century.  There is no change in role or a new agenda at work here; rather we are ensuring that RAST can continue to deliver its mission – the competition and exhibition of excellence in agricultural and primary industry!  One of the key driving principles for any redevelopment is the need to continue to produce the Show on this site for many years to come.

How does this affect the running of the 2012 Show (2013 Show) (2014 Show)?

It is all about lead in times.  The approval process for this re-development is quite involved and the first step, being the re-zoning of parts of the site to accommodate other usages could take up to 12 months.  Then there is the next stage of planning and design, by ourselves (and we anticipate, third parties) along with further approvals of development applications and final building permissions. At this stage we cannot predict the effect, however we envisage staging of the developments in between annual shows to minimise negative effects.

Will there be facilities where committees can continue to meet?

We currently accommodate committees and user groups within our meeting room facilities as well as in specific animal exhibition buildings.  Our proposals for redevelopment have embraced this as a cornerstone to the continuing relevance of the Showground to our community. We envisage that any redevelopment will enhance and improve the amenity available to committees, volunteers and other users.

We currently have facilities and memorabilia within the Pavilion where we meet that have been developed and collected over many years through the efforts of our volunteers.  What will happen to those?

The facilities will go with the removal of buildings, but there may be salvage opportunities. We have an interest in ensuring that any memorabilia is preserved and documented and that facilties are improved overall and comply with modern standards.

We are concerned that the removal of most of the buildings and subsequent replacement with modern styles will remove a lot of the connection between members and the site for Showing.

This is something we will be considering in the building and areas design stage.  All concept plans to date have only concentrated on the overall design factors and will not advance to detail design until we commence Development Application Stage.  We see as important that we retain or recreate a ‘Showground’ and Pavilion feel to how we design final buildings. Important elements may be retained and incorporated into new buildings.

Local businesses

Will the redevelopment of the Showground take any business away from the rest of us in this area?

While we cannot guarantee one way or another, we believe that the redevelopment of the Showground ‘commercial zone’ will create greater consumer activity around the site. Certainly development of the Showground as a Motor Home and Caravan camper base has increased business around the site, we hope that any other activities we develop will do similar.

More specifically, does the retail component represent potential conflict with existing Glenorchy retail businesses?

The class of usage we envisage will be ‘Business Services – Showroom’.  While there may be a conflict with other parts of Glenorchy, we will not be able to move forward with any plans for the site without an approved Development Application by the Glenorchy City Council and other planning authorities.

Are there opportunities for my business to bid for tenders in this redevelopment?

We welcome your expression of interest (contact us) at your earliest convenience if you have a development interest in the Commercial Zone.  Once you do that, we will keep you in the loop.

Local residents

What will this development do for the general amenity of the area?

A lot of thought has gone into the types of new development that could happen on the site considering surrounding uses.  That has been the main thing that has guided the concept plan as it stands.  Our object is to ensure the amenity of the site improves the amenity surrounding the area.  The linkage between the current (railroad) bike track and the walking and Bike trails along the Derwent will be improved within our full development.  The general presentation of the site will be lifted enhancing residential values surrounding the site.

Will the redevelopment mean more dust in the air?

Hobart Showground has had a history of dust, arising not out of Show activities, rather out of racing tracks and surfaces.  We have eliminated many of the sources over the last 5 years, but that will not be complete until we finally grass and seal all areas within the ground.  As with any construction site there may be dust and noise fall out, but that will be undertaken under Environmental regulations, and once done dust should be a thing of the past.

Will it mean more noise?

We do not believe a redeveloped site will mean more noise as we will ensure that noise is contained within buildings and the site by design.

Will there be increased heavy traffic on local roads?

A full traffic management study will need to be undertake as part of the redevelopment process, however our early planning on traffic flows indicate that most will be limited to Howard Road, and access to the site could be very much improved by the implementation of a slip road off the Brooker Highway to the front of the site.  There will be several new heavy traffic deliveries per day on the Howard Road entry to the Commercial Zone, but on scale against the current heavy traffic usage on the southern side of that road the increase could be as little as 5%.

Will construction work and heavy traffic be restricted to certain hours?

We would anticipate that the needs of adjoining residents would be accommodated.  We would however say that the Building Permits issued by the Regulatory Authority would have final say in this matter.

Does it impact on the value of my home?

We would see that any improvement to the amenity of the Showground should have a positive effect on surrounding property values.

Will it impede on the views from my home?

Any developments proposed will go through all normal permissions and approval processes.  We do not anticipate that our development would impede views from surrounding

What avenues do I have to officially comment on your proposal and perhaps lodge a protest?

We will be opening up a comments section on the Hobart Showground website to receive general comments from the public.  There will be the avenue to lodge your comments with Glenorchy City Council in response to the Development Application process. Considering that there as some changes in usages anticipated in this redevelopment, the application will need to be advertised to the public.

Does it mean there will be more events at the Showground, and if so, does that mean more noise and traffic congestion?

The Showground is in essence an events venue, so yes we would hope that this redevelopment results in greater usage of the site, however we are also putting into place plans to accommodate such growth.  Better access to the site on Howard Road, a slip road access on the Brooker Highway frontage and pedestrian access across the Brooker Highway from what will be a better parking area on our land on the Eastern side of the highway are planned.

RAST members

Beyond this briefing, what further consultation will occur with members?

RAST will be opening up a comments avenue through our website www.  The website will be kept up-to-date with development information as it becomes available for publication.  RAST staff remain available to present to any interested groups at any stage.  Ongoing updates regarding developments will be provided through our newsletter, mailouts and website.

Should this have been something members discussed before the decision was taken to proceed?

Discussions regarding the redevelopment of Hobart Showground have been ongoing since it was announced in the early 00’ies that the Racing activities on the site would be wound up. There have been various releases to members since that time.  What you see/ hear today is a continuation of that process.

It is also the responsibility of the RAST Board to manage the future of Hobart Showground as a major asset of the organisation. The Board directs this process, has worked in consultation with Councillors and members.

Does the RAST constitution allow the Board to make such a decision without consultation and a vote of the membership?

It is the Boards duty to deal with these types of issues; however they have not done that in isolation.

We’d like to see the full business case for this initiative?

While the full business case may not be made available to membership, the Board will require a clearly established need and return from the activity before it allows the redevelopment to proceed.

Under the constitution, what grounds are available for the membership to challenge and stop this development?

Membership has access to the Board via AGM and Councillors; however there is not a direct avenue to curtail a decision of the Board.  The Board is charged with the conduct of the business of RAST, and would be lacking in its duty to the society if it did not act on something as important as the future of the Showground or the viability of the Society.