THE Tamworth Show could be extended from two to four days under an ambitious plan to reinvigorate the historic family-friendly event.
But the proposal, which comes a year after the show was cut from three to two days, relies on the event’s relocation from the showgrounds at Taminda.
The Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Association (TPAA) has a long-harboured desire to move the annual event to the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC).
The sale of the showground precinct was thought to have been struck in a complicated deal involving the TPAA, Harness Racing NSW and the Tamworth Harness Racing Club in 2010.
But the arrangement fell through and uncertainty has surrounded the event ever since.
TPAA president John Rodd said he could not say whether the show’s 2014 edition would be the last at its traditional home.
He said the TPAA was suffering the consequences of being blocked from selling the site when the real estate market was at its peak.
“The real estate market over the last four or five years has been in recession ... and it’s not worth selling at these sorts of prices,” he said. “I could turn around and sell it on the phone if I wanted to, but I have to make it work with our relocation.”
The 157,000 sqm site is zoned “industrial” and Mr Rodd is hopeful an agri-business – either local or overseas – will eventually recognise its potential.
“Don’t worry, our place is still out there at AELEC because we promised the federal government that we’d be part of AELEC,” he said.
“That was the only way the council actually got $6 million off the federal government.”
Tamworth residents provided a mixed response recently when The Leader asked whether a shift to AELEC would encourage more people to attend, although ElizabethKennedy, Johnny Cook and Jenelle Germon were all in favour of the move, with Ms Germon saying: “Yes, I wouldn’t mind paying if the venue was of better quality.
So many more possibilities out at AELEC.”