Push for show to move to Equex

PRESSURE is mounting on The Show Society to relocate its facilities to the Equex precinct to ensure a long-term survival. 

The blueprint for the city’s future, released by Committee 4 Wagga (C4W) on Thursday, has urged that the showgrounds be moved from the medical precinct. 

The document said the current facilities were "aged and located on an under-utilised parcel of land.”

It comes after the show last year announced a tradition-breaking change of dates in hopes of stemming declining attendance numbers.

Committee 4 Wagga speculates the development of a new trotting tack at North Wagga will result in the loss of a key tenant and further jeopardise its viability. 

However, the president of The Show Society Bruce Ryan was quick to hose down the recommendation. 

“The only thought I have on it is that it won’t be happening,” he said.

“The show society owns the ground in Turvey Park and it will not be sold.”

When asked if Mr Ryan had concerns for the loss of harness racing, he stated: “Not at this point in time.”

Mr Ryan also cited concerns the society would lose a sense of identity if it was added to another site.

The report also noted the Charles Sturt University’s South campus – which appears likely to be developed for residential housing – would place further strains on the attraction. 

C4W CEO Chris Fitzpatrick believes the showground would prosper by coming together with other groups and forming a multi-complex centre. 

“At the end of the day, it’s really just looking at land economy and sustainability,” he said.

“In the course of time things change and people need to reconsider the value proposition of each facility. 

“It’s the best time for this to be considered, and a place like Equex would be ideal.”

It is not the first time a relocation has been proposed for the Wagga Show Society, however the Equex Centre had not been posed as an option. 

“The development of a new trotting track at North Wagga will result in the Showground losing a key tenant and further impact the long term viability,” C4W’s Strategy Plan read.

“The Show Society could benefit from exploring a more suitable, alternative location to realise potential postive outcomes for both the Show Society and the community.”