FIX UP: Volunteers are hoping to have the stand back in use for the September 15 raceday.
FIX UP: Volunteers are hoping to have the stand back in use for the September 15 raceday. Donna Stewart

Big steps taken in Surat stand restoration

REPARATION of the infamous Surat grandstand is now under way, with local handy-men working to restore it to its former glory.

The stand, which had been out of use for three years due to its condition, was saved from demolition by a community petition in 2017.

"Reparations started last Saturday,” Surat diggers' race club president Donna Stewart said.

"We had a heap of volunteers turn up to do the undercoating of the timber and then we had a registered builder put the boards on as quickly as they were being painted.

"It's an impressive team I reckon.

"When I left on Saturday afternoon the carpenters planned on having two rows of seating down by Sunday afternoon - so we have two down ten to go.

"It's very exciting, it's a very rewarding feeling that we have been able to respond to the communities' wishes and preserve the grand stand for those who signed the petition.

"It's great to know we have the people behind us.”

Ms Stewart said the community response had been overwhelming, with one Surat mother offering to do a coffee run for the builders when she passed the renovations.

"We're on a strict deadline, as the Surat race-day is on September 15. Our goal is have it done by then,” Ms Stewart said.

"We would like to do an official re-opening and re-dedication of the stand at the race-day.”

The new stand will also add a touch of colour to the course, with the club planning on painting it white with a forest green trim.

The big steps have been taken since the Maranoa Regional Council voted to hand the rights and responsibilities of the stand to the race club committee last December.