MANAGER: Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award winner Arthur Hatch with Crown Lands Commissioner, Richard Bush.
MANAGER: Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award winner Arthur Hatch with Crown Lands Commissioner, Richard Bush. Contributed

Crown lands award for creating a community crown jewel

MULLUMBIMBY man Arthur Hatch has won the prestigious Crown Land Award for transforming the Mullumbimby Showgrounds from an economic basket case into a flourishing crown jewel.

Mr Hatch was one of eight recipients of a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award at the 2019 Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

With hundreds of nominations, Arthur Hatch won the Award from a strong field of community contributors.

The Showground had been managed by a voluntary board that was dissolved in 2011 due to financial misconduct.

Mr was part of the replacement board, serving first as Treasurer and currently as Chair.

Initially the board confronted a $300000 debt for an inoperable mower together with $20000 in unpaid creditor invoices, no money in the bank and mismanaged land.

Mr Hatch prioritised stabilising the financial position of the Showground and provided physical labour and project and budgetary management services.

The Camping Site now provides 50% of the Reserve's annual income and the Showground has over $300k in assets.

"The Regional Achievement and Community Awards began in 2002, with the purpose of encouraging acknowledging, and rewarding the valuable contributions individuals, communities and businesses are making throughout regional New South Wales and the ACT,” Crown Lands Commissioner,” Richard Bush said.

"The awards create the opportunity to recognise their hard work and dedication and their contribution to the future of regional New South Wales.”