Day At The Track

Wagga development on track

04:59 PM 07 Apr 2017 NZST
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Wagga contractor assigned (1).jpg
Wagga Harness Racing Club President Linda Inwood, GHD office manager Nathan Szymanski, Wagga HRC chief executive Graeme White, HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny and Ladex managing director Richard Pottie at Wagga last Monday.
Daily Advertiser Photo

Harness Racing in the Riverina received a major boost this week with the announcement of a contractor assigned to begin works on the site at Cartwrights Hill north-east of Wagga.

Work is expected to commence on Riverina's new home of harness racing as early as next month with Ladex Constructions Group.

Weather permitting, the timeline of this stage of the project is estimated to take around 12 months.

It has been a lengthy process to get to this point according to Harness Racing New South Wales chief executive John Dumesny.

"It is somewhat of a relief that this project will finally start rising from the open paddock in North Wagga," said Dumesny.

"HRNSW and the harness racing fraternity have been frustrated at many stages during the past 10 years but that is all behind us now.

"To all those concerned to date with the project I offer the Board Members congratulations and appreciation of their efforts.

"The end result will be a racing precinct for the Riverina to be extremely proud of."

Plans for the multi-million dollar racing facility will see a similar development to that constructed at Bathurst.

This includes a 1070m racetrack capable of starting 10 horses across the front thus resulting in maximum field sizes as well as a sprint lane.

Plans for this Riverina Supercentre began in 2007 and these are the events that have followed since:

  • Site inspections took place at six locations in areas of Wagga, Coolamon and Junee;
  • The HRNSW Board decided that due to the population base and centrality to the region, Wagga was determined as the preferred location;
  • Site selection was narrowed down to North Wagga Flats as the preferred site due to the additional land available for future developments, proximity to Charles Sturt University its students and the equine veterinary clinic, the convenience by road for harness racing participants located in Junee, Coolamon, Leeton and Albury;
  • HRNSW undertook two water studies through Wagga Council’s preferred flood impact professionals WMA Water on the site – other tracks built on flood plains/low lying areas include Tabcorp Park Menangle, Harold Park, Goulburn, Albion Park, Yarra Valley, Terang;
  • HRNSW Stewards frequently visited the site in winter to inspect the fog conditions;
  • HRNSW purchased the land in May 2016;
  • Countless meetings with local residents to explain the project;
  • Numerous meetings with Wagga City Council and the Southern Region Planning Panel to have the development approved;
  • A thorough expressions of interest to attract the most suitable construction company.

Amanda Rando

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