Equestrian shift stalls
DESPITE months passing since initial discussions, plans for a new equestrian facility at Stony Creek have not yet been finalised.
President of the Leongatha and District Equestrian Club (LDEC), Kelly van den Berg is involved in the discussions with Council.
If the plans for the equestrian centre at Stony Creek go ahead, the facilities at Tilson Court may be shut down.
“While our club does not oppose a new equestrian facility in Stony Creek being opened, we do not agree with having to move our club out there,” Ms van den Berg said.
“There are a lot of people who have invested in our club, some have been for a long period of time. It is a community that looks after its members, who come from all walks of life.
“It would be difficult for the club to maintain its community feel and member base if it was to move to Stony Creek.
“A lot of people just couldn’t afford to travel out to Stony Creek. This club makes it easy and accessible for people from all around the local district to attend.”
The LDEC has over 100 members, making it the largest club of its kind in the South Gippsland region.
Ms van den Berg said that when members were surveyed on the proposed move, many of them indicated they would not maintain their membership if the location were to change.
The Tilson Court facilities are on council owned land, which the Leongatha club has been leasing for over 25 years. The Berrys Creek Pony Club has also been operating from the grounds for many years.
The Leongatha club currently has the venue on a yearly lease and Ms van den Berg expects it to be renewed this year.
Many improvements have been made to the Tilson Court grounds over time, with both the LDEC and the Berrys Creek Pony Club investing their own money and volunteer hours to get projects completed.
The equestrian centre in Leongatha is utilised nearly every day for lessons, clinics and training.
Ian Murphy is the Recreation Coordinator with the South Gippsland Shire Council and is involved in the project.
“Since late 2011, members of Leongatha equestrian clubs and the users of the Stony Creek reserve have been providing ideas to the consultant engaged to develop concept plans of the proposed development of additional equestrian facilities at Stony Creek,” Mr Murphy said.
“So far, the discussions have focused on identifying what additional infrastructure is required and where any new facilities are best positioned in relation to existing
“Once these issues are finalised, some broader consultation will be conducted to gain further feedback on the proposal.”
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