Concerns over new Tamworth cross-country track

TAMWORTH Regional Council’s decision to approve a cross-country horse eventing track at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) and a temporary camping ground didn’t come without opposition at Tuesday night’s council meeting. 

Barbara Gill, who owns the property that neighbours the complex, expressed a number of concerns – through her solicitor Patrick O’Halloran – about the impact the event at the facility would have on the amenity of her home. 

On behalf of Mrs Gill, Mr O’Halloran told councillors, recent events at AELEC proved the upcoming eventing competition would have an adverse impact on her home.

He said some of the problems caused to Mrs Gill by the recent event included excessive lighting in the late evening and until the early hours of the morning, sound from speakers announcing events at 15-minute intervals and odour from the horses involved in the event. 

In listing the issues Mrs Gill had faced, it was also suggested such an event at the complex – and the construction of the eventing jumps – were at odds with the land being classified primary industrial. 

During the councillors’ discussion of the recommendation to approve the construction of the eventing track and the temporary camping ground, director of planning and community services Jackie Kruger made a number of reassurances to councillors. 

She also cleared up the question of zoning put forward by Mr O’Halloran and said that the zoning for the campground – on land classified for tourism – and the track itself, on primarily industrial and recreational, were correct. 

Following Mrs Kruger’s clarifications general manger Paul Bennett acknowledged Mrs Gill’s concerns. 

He explained to councillors the bulk of the problems presented by the event held at AELEC over the past two weeks – and referred to by Mr O’Halloran in the community consultation on Mrs Gill’s behalf – were known to council.

He said they were unlikely to be the same for the cross-country event because almost all of the competitors would take to the course during the day. 

In the end councillors Mark Rodda and Warren Woodley were the only two of the nine councillors to oppose the recommendation.

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