Moree Showground benefits from Work for the Dole program

Moree Show Society president Brendan Munn, worker Kon Buliopoulos, Work for the Dole supervisor Luke Hook, worker Brett Draper and Jobs Australia's Adam Gordon and Trish Atkins in the much-improved stables at Moree Showground.
Moree Show Society president Brendan Munn, worker Kon Buliopoulos, Work for the Dole supervisor Luke Hook, worker Brett Draper and Jobs Australia's Adam Gordon and Trish Atkins in the much-improved stables at Moree Showground.

Horse owners will be lining up for a spot in Moree Showground’s new and improved stables at this year’s show thanks to some very hard workers.

Over the past 18 months, Moree Showground has undergone a much-needed facelift as part of the Department of Employment’s jobactive Work for the Dole program.

For five hours a day, five days a week since August 2015, local Work for the Dole clients have worked hard building, painting, sanding, welding, fencing, concreting, plumbing and more to get the showground facilities up-to-scratch. During this time they have fixed the grandstand, bar, toilets, main arena fence and completed a number of other odd jobs.

This week will see the completion of the third project at the showground – fixing one of the horse stables which was in a significant state of disrepair.

About 15 workers, under the guidance of Work for the Dole supervisor Luke Hook, spent the past three months straightening the foundation of the building and replacing the old wooden posts and railings with new steel ones.

Mr Hook said his workers have been fantastic.

“It’s been a great experience working with the blokes from Work for the Dole,” he said. “I’m teaching them what I know and learning new things as well.”

BEFORE: The stables at Moree Showground were in a serious state of disrepair prior to the upgrades that were undertaken by Work for the Dole clients.

BEFORE: The stables at Moree Showground were in a serious state of disrepair prior to the upgrades that were undertaken by Work for the Dole clients.

Moree Show Society is very grateful for the Work for the Dole program, which president Brendan Munn said has saved them valuable time and money.

“The amount of work the guys have been doing over a six-month period, there’s no way the show society would be able to do it,” Mr Munn said. “[The workers] are getting a big tick from the show society.”

The program also has significant benefits for the workers who gain valuable skills, training and on-the-job experience.

Work for the Dole client Brett Draper said he looks forward to coming to the Moree Show in April and seeing all his hard work paid off.

“It gives you a bit of pride coming to the show and saying, ‘I did that’,” he said.

Jobs Australia Enterprises is the lead provider for this particular Work for the Dole activity, providing the budget and ensuring the project is running smoothly. Regional manager Adam Gordon, said the guys have done a great job at the showground.

“This activity is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished through the Department of Employment’s jobactive initiative,” he said.

“There’s lots of work which has been undertaken for the betterment of the community that wouldn’t have been done otherwise.”

The showground project is ongoing and work will soon begin to fix another of the old stables.