09/05/2006 - 22:00

Dowerin convention plan

09/05/2006 - 22:00

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Western Australia’s Wheatbelt could have its own $6 million convention and exhibition centre if the Dowerin Machinery Field Days board has its way.

Western Australia’s Wheatbelt could have its own $6 million convention and exhibition centre if the Dowerin Machinery Field Days board has its way.

Dowerin Field Days chief executive Greg Ross said many agricultural and motoring businesses had expressed a strong interest in establishing an exhibition centre with a large showroom and additional conference room with seating for up to 250 people.

Mr Ross said architects Chris Hardy and Gus Conner had come up with a unique design of a barn-type structure capable of displaying very large farming equipment.

The proposed centre, to be built on the 10.5-hectare field day site, also includes a 60-room motel complex, providing a solution to the critical shortage of short-stay accommo-dation in the region.

“There is a massive problem finding accommodation in Dowerin and this would ease the pressure, particularly during our signature field day event. Currently, visitors have to stay as far away as Wongan Hills and Merridin,” Mr Ross said.

The Central Wheatbelt Exhibition Centre would aim to provide an alternative for businesses looking for a relaxed, high-quality venue catering to smaller numbers, within easy driving distance of Perth yet easily accessible to people throughout rural WA.

“Most of the townsfolk are positive about the proposal and the Dowerin Shire Council is very supportive of developing a premier regional machinery exhibition site,” Mr Ross said.

Tourism would not be the prime factor in the future success of the complex, he said, but its viability would be inextricably linked with machinery, rural-based conventions and motor vehicles.

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