As campaigning turns the Hunter Region into a key federal election battleground, Maitland’s peak business body is looking to leverage support for a major infrastructure project.
The Maitland Business Chamber is calling on candidates in Patterson and Lyne to commit to delivering a 3,000 seat conference and entertainment complex bordering the existing Showground.
Performing arts, business, sporting and educational events would be held at the proposed $40-million venue, adding another draw for tourism in the area and capitalising on the close proximity to the Hunter Valley Wine Country and coastal holiday destinations in Port Stephens and Newcastle.
President of Maitland Business Chamber Shane Hamilton has been advocating for the project for a while, but says now is the time.
“The Multipurpose Conference Centre would unlock many business and social roadblocks by providing the place and the amenities to bring larger numbers to the town. This would benefit all business as well as the population,” Mr Hamilton said.
He said cost estimates for the design and construction of the centre put the price tag at roughly $40-million, but Mr Hamilton believes all sides of politics should get behind boosting the region.
“We are looking for all candidates to commit their party to this funding should they be successful in the upcoming Federal election,” he said.