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From the Namoi Valley Independent // 16 January 2018 // Article & Photo: Billy Jupp

THE Gunnedah community could soon host a energy and mining expo if the Gunnedah Show Society’s plans to host the major event come to fruition.

At a planning meeting on Tuesday afternoon, representatives of the Gunnedah Show Society hosted a brainstorming session with other interested parties such as, Gunnedah Shire Council, the Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson.

Show society president Rob Witts said an expo would be “terrific for the community”.

“An event like this would benefit the community in a number of ways,” Mr Witts said.

“For example local businesses would benefit from the added tourism and so would local schools and community groups who could fundraise at the event.”

Mr Witts said an expo would perfectly demonstrate the versatility of the showgrounds as a venue.

“Initially we wanted to show that the showgrounds can be more than just a venue for the show and equine events,” he said.

“Now if we can show that it can host an energy and mining expo, we might be able to attract other events to the venue and Gunnedah in general.”

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said he would help support the proposed event.

“I am 100 per cent behind this particular idea,” Mr Anderson.

“I think it’s fantastic that a centre like Gunnedah has put it’s hand up to hold an event like this.”

Mr Anderson said he thought the event would be a “big hit” for Gunnedah.

“Gunnedah really is at the centre of these types of industries,” he said.

“Renewable energy, mining and extraction are big factors in the area and this is something people have been calling for for sometime and we fully support it.”

Gunnedah Shire mayor Jamie Chaffey said the initiative “is very exciting”.

“I will say congratulations to the show society for a very progressive approach, they have obviously done due diligence to this stage and have confirmed that they will be going forward.”

Cr Chaffey said there is still “a lot of work” to be done in preparations for a potential expo.

“There is some work for them to do in terms of identifying who their partners in this will be and some of the finer details surrounding the three day event itself,” he said.

“But it is January and the proposal is for November, so there is a lot of work to do but I’m sure it will be successful and the whole community will get behind it.”

The next stage of planning for the Gunnedah Show Society will be finding a project manager for the event and forming a committee to help organise the event.

“Those are our next two goals,” Mr Witts said.

“If anyone is interested in being part of the committee to help run this mining and energy expo they can contact either George Avard or myself.

“We really want this expo to have a Gunnedah feel to it and we encourage anyone who wants to be on the committee to get in touch with us.”

To learn more about the Gunnedah Show Society visit www.facebook.com/gunnedahshowsociety.

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