Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, was joined by the Hon. Senator Fiona Nash as they welcomed the Coalition Government’s $8.5 million contribution to the Northern Inland Centre of Excellence in Tamworth.
The boost will allow the proposed centre to become a premier location for sport in regional NSW and will see a synthetic athletics track, a 400 metre velodrome and a criterium cycling circuit constructed as well as extensions made to the existing Sport Dome.
Mr Joyce, who has been lobbying on behalf of the Tamworth Regional Council to secure funding, said the centre will also include a 100m by 100m sand-based equestrian arena, associated works for dressage, eventing and show-jumping and the development of a large accommodation facility. Together the precinct will deliver astronomical benefits to Tamworth and host the only outdoor synthetic track between Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, welcomed the announcement noting it delivers on the Coalition’s vision for vibrant regional communities.
“As Minister for Regional Development, I aim to help build the types of communities that our children and grandchildren want to grow up in or come back to. A project like this helps to do that. This vision is at the core of everything we do,” said Minister Nash.
“Sport is a social conduit in regional Australia, and world class facilities like those announced today give the stars of tomorrow the best chance to follow in the footsteps of local legends such as Kookaburras’ captain Michael York or test cricketer Josh Hazlewood.”
Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Cr Col Murray said the new facilities are part of the council’s plan to create a multi-venue precinct which will cater for a range of sports competitions on a local, regional, state and national level.
“Like the $5.35 million Northern Inland Cycling Centre approved in April for a site at the rear of Tamworth Sports Dome, the approved developments would only proceed if funding is secured,” Cr Murray said.
“Now we have the excellent news that our local MP and the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce has delivered $8.5 million and this will set in stone Tamworth’s reputation for first-class sporting events.”
Mr Joyce proposed the Centre of Excellence would be located within the existing Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) and the Sports Dome.