Dinner Plain may add AFL oval
DINNER Plain is looking at the possible development of an AFL oval in the alpine village, in order to increase its all-yearround appeal as a sports training centre, and meet a number of community needs.
The Dinner Plain Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Shire Council are currently assessing the findings of a feasibility study for the proposed development.
Chamber president Doug McDougall said the establishment of the AFL oval would be a solu- tion for a number of the village’s needs, and would function as a multi-purpose facility.
“We looked at a whole range of things and the solution we came up with was for an oval,” he said.
“We needed an area during bushfires that could be a neighbourhood safe area as well as a spot where we could run functions and events, things like music festivals or a venue for car groups to come.
“It could also be used to hold the annual polo competition at Easter which is presently run at Cobungra Station and just a general recreation space for the community including an off-lead dog area.”
On top of being an emergency services operating base and community events facility, Mr McDougall said an oval could become a potential venue for high altitude training for sporting teams and professional and amateur athletes.
“We did some research and found that a lot of AFL teams travel overseas to do high altitude training for up to two weeks,” he said.
“There is nowhere in Australia above 1500 metres that has enough cleared area for an AFL sized oval that can be used for football as well as other sports.
“Dinner Plain fitted the criteria in terms of access with the airport just down the road, there is an abundance of accommodation and with existing facilities like the day spa, gymnasium and treatment rooms the potential is here.
“We spoke to a variety of AFL teams and have a letter from the Geelong chief executive officer expressing interest that they would potentially train up here.”
Mr McDougall said consultation with local business owners and operators had been positive with most considering it a great idea and being excited at the prospects.
Alpine Shire Council director of sustainable development, Heather Green, said council would support the chamber in its pursuits if they proved viable.
“I think the general thing is that the chamber of commerce is thinking big and looking at alternatives to snow and all opportunities for non-snow re- lated activities and we are certainly looking at doing the same thing,” she said.
“One of the things council wants to pursue is a facility for elite amateur sports people like people who do the Tour of Bright and Audax.
“We think there is a real opportunity for packaging Dinner Plain’s accommodation and facilities for fitness related things but a village green will obviously also be an opportunity to bring other things to the town and lead to further economic development.”