Mini marquees and stylish outdoor furniture will be a new feature at country racecourses during the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival thanks to funding from the Victorian Coalition Government and the racing industry.
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said 19 clubs across western Victoria including the Wimmera, Mallee and Western District, will share in new mini marquees, market umbrellas and picnic seating worth $202,500.
“Country racing is a great way to spend a day with family, friends and work colleagues and these marquees will be available for use all year round,” Dr Napthine said.
“Marquees have long been a big attraction at the Spring Racing Carnival and we want to bring that relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere to country race clubs throughout the year.
“These new marquees and furniture will add to the Spring Racing Carnival’s country cups and race days, which attract 176,000 racegoers and generate more than $51 million in direct spending in regional Victoria.
“These marquees will attract an even wider audience to Victoria’s regional racetracks and foster further growth in the country racing industry which is worth $729 million and employs 27,000 country Victorians,” Dr Napthine said.
Country race clubs can also allow the marquees to be utilised for community events, such as local sporting carnivals, market days and fetes which will provide an added benefit to local communities.
Country Racing Victoria (CRV) Chief Executive Officer Scott Whiteman said country racing prides itself on providing quality race day facilities at an affordable price at each of the 54 professional racing clubs right across Victoria.
“The injection of new pagoda style marquees, market umbrellas and quality furniture at 19 of our clubs ensures that we are able to maintain the high standards of oncourse facilities for our patrons,” Mr Whiteman said.
“In the past it has been a costly exercise in transporting and installing equipment throughout the state and this new locally based equipment will assist clubs in cutting their costs and providing a higher level of service to their patrons.
“CRV once again thanks the Coalition Government and the Minister for Racing Dr Napthine for its contribution to help make this project possible,” Mr Whiteman said.
The Coalition Government is providing $102,500 in partnership with Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria is providing $100,000 towards this investment. The funding will purchase 50 pagodas style marquees, 105 market umbrellas, 145 tables, 500 chairs as well as fencing, pegs and gutters.
Clubs set to benefit from this investment include Ararat, Casterton, Colac, Camperdown, Coleraine, Donald, Edenhope, Hamilton, Horsham, Mildura, Mortlake, Murtoa, Nhill, Penshurst, St Arnaud, Stawell, Swan Hill, Terang and Warracknabeal.