Horse enthusiasts petition Cloncurry Shire Council for town common

FAST PACED: A competitor in the Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge in the equestrian centre. Photo: Chris Burns.
FAST PACED: A competitor in the Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge in the equestrian centre. Photo: Chris Burns.

HORSE enthusiasts have signed a petition for a town common to be developed in Cloncurry.  

Resident Jennifer Hetherington gave the petition of 100 signatures to the Cloncurry mayor at a recent community consultation meeting.

She said about 30 signatures belonged to horse owners. 

Drivers of the petition such as Mrs Hetherington and Claire Litchfield believe the town common should be near the multi-million dollar equestrian centre for the convenience of horse owners. 

“If we have to take them to stations to house them it gets a bit difficult,” Mrs Hetherington said. 

Legislation required that horses not be kept in properties less than 1200 square metres, she said. 

The rule had not been enforced and so many horses had been kept in smaller properties. Recently council staff had cracked down on the property size. 

“They said we have 30 days to rectify or pay $5000,” Mrs Hetherington said. 

One suggested area in the petition was that it be on a site near the Cloncurry river, behind the airport and adjacent to the equestrian centre.

There was also formerly a town common that was under a 99 year lease, she said. 

A new common should be divided up where users might may a lease to use infrastructure and water. “There’s complications if there’s one big paddock. We need to know they are going to segregate it,” she said.  

The mayor said the town common was worth its own forum to investigate the idea further. 

Cr Campbell later said that staff had been in discussions with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines for several months about land that could be used for horse purposes. 

He needed to check what the lease arrangements were for the former town common. 

“It is leased by a private person at the moment. We do need to be careful what we put out there, it could cause an issue to those people. 

“We’re not necessarily looking at their land either. There’s options for a range of possible land areas. 

He was unaware of a council staff crack-down on horses kept on smaller properties.