Evicted poultry club thanks volunteers and businesses for their assitance

Members of the Central Coast Poultry Club packing up their pavilion

Central Coast Poultry Club President, Warwick Saunders, said club members were touched by the large number of volunteers who assisted the club with the final packing up of its Wyong Pavilion.
The Poultry Club, along with the Wyong Lions Club and Central Coast Volunteer Rescue Squad, were all forced to vacate their premises on land owned by the Wyong Race Club, as the race club prepares to undergo a $6m expansion.
The Poultry Club officially vacated its pavilion on February 2.
The club has operated in Wyong since 1906 when the race club land was formerly known as the Wyong Agriculture Grounds.
Their departure brings to an end a 113 year legacy at the site.
“It was with great sadness that we removed the last of the Central Coast Poultry Club’s possessions from our beloved pavilion at Wyong,” Saunders said.
“Due to the forced eviction by Racing NSW, everything had to be moved to Tuggerah, at the risk of being destroyed.
“The mood was lightened by the huge turnout of some 30 plus volunteers who came from near and far.
“Many familiar faces were present, as well as a considerable amount of new ones, and community members not known to the club.
“A huge thank you to all those who volunteered at such a difficult time in the Poultry Club’s history.
“It is heartening to see the club is still so well supported,” he said.
Saunders said the club was also overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses who also chipped in by donating equipment and transport, such as forklifts and trucks, to assist with the move.
The club is now operating out of a temporary space in Tuggerah, but Saunders said the club had no idea how long they would be allowed to utilise the temporary site and said the club was essentially “homeless”.
According to Saunders, the club is now seeking legal advice about the land and maintains that a trust relationship was previously held over the land.
He also said the club would continue to pursue compensation for their pavilion, which was built and maintained by club members over a number of decades.
Wyong Race Club CEO, David Jewell, told the Chronicle in January that lease holders knew they would need to vacate the land at some point.
In December, 2018, Council received a report which said the race course land was not owned by the community and the race club considered it private land owned by the club.
Council said Wyong Race Club Ltd was the registered title holder of the land, and no caveat existed on any of the club’s titles.
But community groups say the land was given to the community to use, more than 100 years ago.
On October 28, 1988, the Wyong District Agricultural Association changed its name by resolution to the Wyong Race Club and the title to the land transferred on Jan 1, 1989, to the club.
Saunders said the Poultry Club’s future was now uncertain.
“All of the community support we provide and economic benefits to Wyong from the results of our activities are now almost certainly lost,” Saunders said.
“Our Annual Show is the biggest and most prestigious poultry show, outside of the Royal events, in Australia.
“If things continue as they are, this year’s show might be the club’s last,” Saunders said.
“To be clear we’re not giving up.
“The race club won the battle, but the war isn’t over,” Saunders said.

Source:
Interview and email, Jan 18
David Jewell, Wyong Race Club
Website, Feb 5
Warwick Saunders, Central Coast Poultry Club
Interview, Mar 1
Warwick Saunders, Central Coast Poultry Club
Dilon Luke, Journalist

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