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Posted on Sep 26, 2018


It may not be peak ‘Agfest season’, (although that time is fast approaching) but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening within Rural Youth Tasmania, the Agfest Committee or at Quercus Park!

Saturday September 15 saw members attend the Rural Youth Tasmania AGM and elect Dale Hayers as the new State President.  Ashleigh Reynolds, Dylan Bellchambers, Sharon Symons and Matthew Young are joining the Rural Youth Board for the first time, with Ashley Evans (previous State President) returning as a Director.  Five directors completed their term, Breeanna House, Will Craigie, Josh Taylor, Peter Gladwell and Andrew Skirving – all of whom contributed to the achievements of the Board in its inaugural year.  A dinner was held to celebrate the year, raise funds for Rural Aid – Buy a Bale and various awards were presented, including Honorary Life Memberships to Paul Bennett and Jayne Clark (nee Badcock) and recognition of service to Laura Richardson, all of whom have contributed much to our organisation over many years!

“I am excited with the direction of Rural Youth and look forward to the next 12 months at the helm. We have elected a terrific Board team of young leaders and I hope to work closely with all Directors to continue to improve the Rural Youth brand and increase our membership base” said Dale Hayers after his election as President.

Rural Youth currently have a team of dedicated members who are developing a long term plan for the development of Quercus Park, in addition, the majority of our underground assets are thirty years old and in need of replacement and/or repair. 

Contractors will be on site from October through to February working on upgrades to the Quercus site, these capital works will cost in the vicinity of $800K and will be funded by Rural Youth alone. 

Solutions for how wastewater is treated at the Quercus Park site has been an ongoing discussion for many years between Rural Youth and the Meander Valley Council. In September this year MVC approved a plumbing permit application and Rural Youth have engaged Professional Plumbing, who will soon be installing a new 10,000L/day onsite wastewater treatment system and 500,000L of underground storage.

Dale Hayers has passionately driven the wastewater project and is excited to see the project construction commence;

“The wastewater upgrade secures the future of the Agfest Event for years to come and unlocks further development opportunities at the Quercus Park site. We also hope our new kitchen facility will attract further site hires to make the Quercus Park site a true 365 day-year hired venue.”

The Quercus Park Function Centre Kitchen is being refurbished and all appliances replaced, in addition upgrading and replacing power cables and switchboards on site. 

Whilst these upgrades will not have an immediate or visual impact on people coming to events, until these issues are addressed we are unable to progress other plans as we could not get Council approval. 

Rural Youth CEO Karen Robinson on the upgrades works:

“It is a testament to the support of the patrons, exhibitors and sponsors who attend Agfest in addition to the hard work of our members, staff and volunteers that we find ourselves in a position to be able to make these changes.  This is a remarkable achievement for an organsation where the average age of members is 24!”

Rural Youth continues to deliver Agfest and fund all of their programs without financial assistance from Government or their agencies, it is important that we let the community know the funds raised are reinvested into the property, event and our organisation.