Construction of Victoria's first new thoroughbred racetrack in almost forty years began today at the Pakenham Racing Club's new site at Tynong with Minister for Racing Denis Napthine joining club officials and industry representatives to celebrate the special occasion.
The 246 hectare site on the Nar Nar Goon-Longwarry Road at Tynong will be transformed over the next two years and become the new home for the Pakenham Racing Club.
Dr Napthine said the first stage of this exciting development will include:
- a state of the art 2,400 metre turf track;
- two high quality sand training tracks;
- a modern grandstand and customer facilities;
- outstanding racing and training infrastructure; and
- 16 trainer allotments adjacent to the racecourse.
Dr Napthine said he was delighted to see the investment by the Pakenham Racing Club at Tynong that will benefit racegoers, trainers, jockeys, horses and racing related industries in Melbourne's fast growing southeast corridor.
"The building of this brand new, world standard racecourse is a massive vote of confidence in Victoria's $2.1 billion racing industry," Dr Napthine said.
"Hundreds of new jobs will be created in the local region through the construction of the racecourse and permanent jobs will also be created when the facility is operating as a racing and training centre.
"This new racecourse opens up many exciting opportunities for people to get involved in racing whether it is as an investor, trainer, spectator or other industry participant.
"The south-east corridor of Melbourne and West Gippsland is a high growth area and it is fantastic to see the racing industry look to the future with this multi-million dollar investment," Dr Napthine said.
Pakenham Racing CEO Michael Hodge said that the move to Tynong would provide the industry with a world class racing and training precinct with a stage one investment of $60 million funded and managed by the Pakenham Racing Club.
"Careful consideration has been given to all aspects of this development, particularly the world class facilities and trainer allotments, but also other issues such as a dedicated environmental precinct," Mr Hodge said.
"Consideration of the impact of the racecourse on the environment has been made in the design of the facility, with 14 hectares of the development allocated for a dedicated wetlands area to protect the habitat of the growling grass frog.
"While today we start stage one of the development, the club's long-term vision for the new Pakenham Racecourse includes a 2,000 metre synthetic racetrack, capability for future night racing, hotel/motel accommodation and an equine and veterinary centre," Mr Hodge said.
Racing Victoria Chief Executive Rob Hines said the construction of the new racetrack was an important milestone for the industry and congratulated the Pakenham Racing Club on their vision and commitment to racing in the state's south east.
"The Pakenham Racing Club are to be commended for reinvesting the funds obtained from the sale of their current site back into a first class facility for the benefit of the racing industry," Mr Hines said.
"We look forward to working with the Pakenham Racing Club to ensure their investment in this new track at Tynong is one that proves successful for the club, participants and the local community."
It is expected that the new Pakenham Racetrack will be ready for horse training in mid-2014 with racing to commence later that year. It will host as many as 24 race meetings a year with potential for more in years to come.