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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


A new amenities block with showers and accessible toilets will allow Merriwa Racecourse to host more community events, including overnight stays and ‘overflow’ camping areas for the Merriwa Campdraft and Merriwa Springtime Show.

Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said the racecourse is a central part of community life, hosting the two-day Polocrosse Club since 1980, the Merriwa Pony Club and the annual race meeting that attracts 1000 spectators.

The NSW Government invested $192,000 towards replacement of facilities that were more 30 years old including 12 toilets, seven showers, two septic tanks and two rainwater tanks that are connected to mains water supply.
“Equine events are a lifeblood of the Upper Hunter and the new amenities will support race meetings like the annual Merriwa Cup,” Mr Layzell said.

“The facilities will also allow the racecourse to host other large community events like agricultural field days, concerts, festivals, and training for local emergency services.

“The accessible amenities will make it easier for parents with prams and seniors, including the fantastic volunteers from the Festival of the Fleeces Committee and Merriwa CWA who cater on race days.”

Merriwa Pony Club is one of the groups that use the racecourse with events six times a year. It has a new cross-country course and recently hosted a Tetrathlon with 47 athletes competing in running, swimming, shooting and show jumping.

Minister for Lands and Water and Minister for Hospitality and Racing Kevin Anderson said the new amenities were funded from the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund which enhances community facilities and recreational spaces across NSW.

“The upgrade at Merriwa Racecourse provided jobs for tradespeople when they were needed most during the downturn caused by COVID,” Mr Anderson said.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dave Layzell MP inspecting Merriwa Racecourse with Upper Hunter Shire Council General Manager Greg McDonald, Mayor Cr Maurice Collison, Merriwa Race Club President Pat Ryan and Committee Members Clare Martin & Shirley Hocking.


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