Council has begun advocacy work to source funding for an equestrian facilities master plan for the shire. A master plan will draw on information already gathered in previous work by Council.
The shire has a strong equine presence covering recreation, welfare, competition/sport, education and breeding and a master plan would provide clarity around the future provision of facilities by Council.
The equine industry forms a large part of the local economy from breeding and training to the many support industries such as vets, farriers, feed and manufacturers of horse related products and various services.
To support business development and employment creation, Council worked in partnership with the industry to prepare and implement a five year strategy from 2012–2016. Over 20 actions were delivered during this time, some of which are ongoing priorities for Council.
Some of the highlights were:
- establishment of the Macedon Ranges Equine Industry Network (REIN) which worked alongside Council to deliver the five year strategy
- partnership with the Macedon Ranges Equine Industry Network, and development of the REIN Facebook page to provide greater communication across the sector. The page is now run by the industry and continues to provide valuable information about local horse businesses, events and activities.
- provision of workshops and information to assist horse owners with emergency planning and property preparation, land management and training for large animal rescue
- partnership with the Kyneton Community and Learning Centre and Racing Victoria to deliver short courses aimed at providing an introduction into the various careers available in the horse industry
- preparation of the Equine Business Development Guidelines which were designed to assist Council officers when assessing planning permit applications for equine business facilities. The guidelines also provide information for applicants to consider when preparing an application.
- investigation into the feasibility of an equine centre capable of hosting a broad range of equine competitions and events
- promotion of horse-friendly tourism opportunities in the shire, and development of the Horse Trail Riding Guide.
For more information, contact the Economic Development and Tourism Department on (03) 5421 9616 or firstname.lastname@example.org