History of Buildings & Grounds 1980-2011

Woolorama, since 1972, is an annual event run for the benefit of the community of Wagin.

This document is a record of improvements and costings initiated by the Wagin Agricultural Society (WAS / The Society) in the years 1980 to 2011 to demonstrate the Society has been diligent in enhancing the asset vested in the Wagin Shire ‘To be used and held upon trust solely for agricultural and recreational purposes in connection with the Wagin Arthur Districts Agricultural and Horticultural Industrial Society’.

There was a misunderstanding in 2005 when it was wrongly understood that the land belonged to the Shire, rather than being held by the Shire as Trustees for the Agricultural Society for the benefit of the Wagin Community.  The Shire accepted responsibility for the grounds in September 1961.  The Deeds were transferred in 1962.

Since 1980 the Agricultural Society has contributed $1,731,400 to the establishment and maintenance of the Wagin Sportsground, in many cases as matching dollars to facilitate grants or loans to develop the facilities as they are today.

The sources of information are Minutes of the Society, financial records of the Society and legal contracts entered into by the Society. 

This document should be read in conjunction with the Society’s document, “Where the Money Goes”.

History of Show Ground Buildings and Structures

1. Two Old Toilet Blocks
These were built by WAS in the 1960s. The first, at the eastern side of the grounds, was built to service the old luncheon building and surrounding area. The second is next to the current luncheon building. Both are still essential to service the eastern end of the grounds during Woolorama.

2. Grandstand Building
Built in 1960, prior to Shire involvement, the building is essential indoor display area during Woolorama. The grandstand is of little value to WAS.

3. Scout Hall (now the Cricket and Hockey Clubrooms)
This hall was built alongside the grandstand building and another similar hall (since demolished) for Football Club use in the 70s.

The Society purchased the Rovers rooms from the Football Club for approximately $10,000 to enable the combined Football Clubs (Rovers and Federals) to contribute to the cost of building the Recreational Centre.

When the Scouts wanted a home, the Shire sold the building to the Scouts for $9000 – with no reference to WAS – with a guarantee that, as the Society understands it, the Shire would buy the building back if the Scouts ceased to function. The only reference to the Society was a concession granted to allow WAS to use the building for the Art Section during Woolorama.

WAS still requires the use of the building during Woolorama to house security personnel.

4. The Luncheon Booth
The Luncheon Booth was built during the RED scheme in 1974 at a cost of $24,000 to WAS. Several years later WAS added a purpose built store-room for the exclusive use of the Woolorama Catering Committee. 

5. Merino Shed
Originally built by the Wagin and Districts Stud Sheep Breeders Association in the early 1970s, the Merino Shed was purchased by WAS and upgraded in 2003 at a cost of $20,000, making an overall expenditure on the building of $100,000.

6. The Toms Building
Purchased by WAS for $20,000 in 1978 and rebuilt as the main exhibition and administration complex for Woolorama.  It was also used by the Trotting Club, which contributed the internal fitting out and assisted with the erection, as their administration and public building. 

This building was demolished by WAS and sold in 2003 with all the proceeds going to the Shire to be used toward the extensions to the Recreation Centre.

7. Turner’s Land (The 600s area)
This piece of land was bought jointly with the Shire in October 1982 for $4000 each.

8. British and Australasian Shed
This shed was built by WAS in 1982 and extended in 1985 by WAS at a cost of $100,000.  Further extensions, costing $19,200, were added in 2006.

9. Toilet Block Adjacent to the B&A Shed
This was built by the Society in 1985 at a cost of $29,000.

10. The Midalia Steel Stockman’s Bar
The original Stockman’s Bar was built in 1982, but extended twice.  In 1994 the area was doubled, and in 2003 the bricked area to house the coolroom was added, together with the brick paved area.  All steel was donated by Midalia Steel and the total cost to the Society of the construction was $37,000.

11. DAFF Building
Built in 1983 at a subsidised cost of $50,000, its size was doubled in 1989 for a cost of $20,000.

12. Goat Shed
This shed was built at a cost of $10,000 in 1984; it now needs re-cladding.

13. Wesfarmer’s Shed
Built by Wesfarmers in 1985, there was no cost to WAS for this structure.

14. Trotting Track Extension
The Trotting Club wanted to extend to a half mile track and the Society gained more grassed oval with the expanded track.  This was completed in 1987 with earthmoving and ground works undertaken voluntarily by both the Trotting Club, WAS and others.

15. Ray Johnson Pavilion (formerly known as the Wool Pavilion)
Built in 1988 at a cost of $200,000, then extended in 1990 at a cost of $36,400, the RJP building was air conditioned in 2003 at a cost of $23,000.

16. Recreation Centre
In 1991 WAS contributed $70,000 toward the construction of the Recreation Centre.  When the Rec Centre was expanded in 2003 a further $200,000, plus the $20,000 raised from the Toms building sale, as well as $68,000 specifically for the WAS Boardroom were contributed.  In all $358,000 (as matching dollars toward the construction cost of $1,363,324) was given.  Site works were contributed by volunteers.

17. Cattle Shed
The original cost of this building in 1997, a bi-centennial project, was $11,000. It was extended in 2001 plus penning extensions in 2009 totalled $170,000.

18. The Markets
This facility cost $35,000 to build in 1993 with one wall, but an additional $3216 was needed to enclose the shed in 2000.

19. Rec Centre Air Conditioning
$11,500 was spent in 1994 by the Woolorama Catering Committee to provide evaporative air conditioning in the Rec. Centre lounge/dining areas.

20. The Drive-in à Youth Centre
The 8 acres were purchased by WAS in 2001 for $85,000.  Improvements in 2009 – showers and power outlets – cost $36,000. Internal building improvements have been made to the value of $47,000.

21. Eric Farrow Pavilion
In 2003 WAS contributed all earth cartage plus $80,000 toward the construction of this facility, the EFP.  This is an essential exhibition area now for photography, art, home, and school displays.

22. Perimeter Fence
In 2004 link mesh fencing was installed at a cost of $15,200, the perimeter including the Drive-in area.

23. Reticulation of the Grounds (the 500’s and 600’s areas)
Reticulation of these outdoor display areas was undertaken in 2004; materials cost $1200 with labour being donated.

24. Shearing Shed
The Shearing Shed was built in 2007 at a cost of $139,000. Toilets were added in 2009 at a cost of $10,000.

25. Gourmet 2 Cover
The structure giving shade to the Gourmet 2 area was put in place in 2008.  Built by Outdoor World at no cost to the Society, it was valued at $65,000.

26. Rodeo Grounds
The rodeo area was developed in 2009 at a cost of $10,000 plus $40,000 paid out for fuel and labour.  Shire assistance with the task was significant.

27. Ballard Shed
This building went up in 2009, paid for and constructed by Ballard Seeds at no cost to WAS.

28. Sheep Dog Trial Office and Entrance Gate
This building was erected in 2011 at a cost of $37,000.  The material for the yards, valued at $10,000, was donated by Midalia Steel.

29. Annual Grounds Expenditure
A minimum of $30,000 is allocated annually to facilitate grounds costs, such as electrical installation and maintenance.

30. Volunteer Labour
All of the above costings don’t include labour costs contributed by the Society’s Committee and community volunteers.