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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Glen Innes is setting its sights on being part of the Brisbane 2032 Olympics with the development of an international grade Indoor Equine and Livestock Centre.

In April this year, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced a state government grant for the Glen Innes Severn Council to develop and present a business case for the new Indoor Equine and Livestock Centre. The grant, worth $106,250, is being put into quick use as the Council sets its sights on Glen Innes being placed on the Olympic map in 2032.

Glen Innes Severn Council Mayor, Rob Banham, has shared his enthusiasm for this project saying, “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time. As an avid horse enthusiast, it’s a pet project.”

Cr Banham says that, whilst planning is still in the very early stages, they have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, and a strong desire to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

“With Glen Innes located halfway between Brisbane and Tamworth, we’re the perfect choice for this new facility.”

“The Australian Equine and Livestock Events Center (AELEC) is at capacity. They’re booked out 12 months in advance, so the demand is clearly there for this kind of venue.”

Whilst the focus is largely on the equestrian uses of the venue, including dressage, jumping and western activities, Cr Banham hopes that the new centre will be so much more.

“I want a centre that can be utilised by other disciplines including campdrafts, livestock shows and sales, trade shows, corporate events and even motocross.”

Cnr Banham also says he’s in close contact with those who made AELEC a possibility.

“I’m keeping in touch with the Tamworth mayor and the builders and planners of AELEC. They did a lot right, but they can also help us avoid any of the small hiccups they had along the way both in planning and execution.”

“The benefit that this precinct will bring the local community is huge, not only in how locals can utilise the facility but also in the tourism that national, and hopefully international use will bring to the area,” says Cnr Banham.

The international arena is the prize that Cnr Banham has his eyes set very firmly upon.

“Coupled with our recently opened Indoor Sports Centre, I think we have an excellent chance of attracting some international Olympic teams to Glen Innes to use the area as a training base.”

“How amazing would it be to attract perhaps an international netball, volleyball or basketball team to our Sports Center, and an international dressage team to our Equine Centre and show them what amazing country hospitality we have on offer.”   

With the Olympics to be held in Brisbane in 2032 it may seem like time is on the Council’s side, but Cnr Banham says they will have to work hard and fast to get a project of this size off the ground and ready in that time.

When asked how long the business case will take, he says “I hope we’ll have the planning side of things wrapped up by the end of the year.”

“This was an opportunity we just couldn’t miss; it has endless potential, but we just have to make sure that we are getting it right”.

A primary part of the planning will be where the venue is situated.

Cnr Banham says at this stage both the showgrounds and the area between the saleyards and the racecourse are both strong contenders, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Community consultation will be another component of the business planning process and Cnr Banham is adamant that key community groups such as local schools, pony clubs and livestock owners will all be invited to give input.

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