Eurobodalla off and racing for equine centre

Source: Bay Post

A BUSINESS plan will be developed for a Regional Equine Centre at Moruya after Eurobodalla councillor Liz Innes put forward the idea to council recently. 

It comes after a 2012/13 Far South Coast scoping study estimated the industry value to the region’s economy to be more than $56million.

Cr Innes said by looking at the scoping study, there was an enormous amount of equestrian activity already in the area.

“If we can build on that going into the future it’s going to benefit everybody,” she said. 

The centre is proposed to include a 60-metre by 100-metre all-weather arena with seating, stabling accommodation and warm-up arenas. 

Eurobodalla Shire Council has two months to have a business case prepared and presented to Bega MP and NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance, who said State Government funding was available for the project.

Cr Innes said she was confident the business case would be finished within the timeframe, even if they have to go in “boots and all”.  

“We are going to give it a red hot crack,” Cr Innes said. 

“We have the ball rolling.

“It will take as much time as it takes and if we can’t build a good business case, it won’t happen.”

Although the project is currently proposed to be part of the Moruya Racecourse precinct, Cr Innes said the Moruya Showground would be looked at. 

“Andrew Constance put the offer on the table for the money to fund it out at the racecourse,” Cr Innes said. 

“He saw merit in the case that was put to him. 

“We could spend another two years debating on where it should go, but we have to have leaders that stand up and say this is a good place, this place is stacked up and this is where it should go.”

She said she wanted the whole equine community to get behind the project and support it.

“What has been put to me are a long-term vision and an equine complex that will be a regional significance,” Cr Innes said.

“This isn’t a small project, this is a project that will start in stages and build and be a wonderful thing for the equine industry.

“It has huge potential.”

It is hoped there will be “spin offs” of potential horse sales, better facilities for people to use and better competition standards.

“People will be encouraged to come and compete here rather than travelling vast distances,” Cr Innes said. 

Cr Innes is hopeful construction of the centre will be started within two years.

“I think that is a pretty realistic timeframe to be looking at,” she said.

“Albeit, one that we have to have our skates on, but if there is a will and we get a good committee together that all pulls together in the right direction, the same direction, anything can happen.”

Mr Constance said a number of avenues of funding were available for the project. 

“It's come off the back of port transactions, Newcastle, Kembla and Botany,” Mr Constance said. 

“We've got the capacity there to earmark projects so I'm very keen for us to start to build that infrastructure in the pipeline.

“As long as it's affordable.

“I'm keen to make sure that the business case stacks up in the first place.”

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