Stony Creek’s racetrack will be brought to peak condition for its summer racing season, following track remedial works announced by Minister for Racing Denis Napthine and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan today.
Dr Napthine said $120,000 in remedial track drainage works were identified as a priority after expert investigations found a number of potential problems with the drainage network.
“A decade of drought followed by periods of heavy rainfall in Victorian regions such as South Gippsland has caused stress to drainage systems at a number of racecourses,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government worked with Racing Victoria to fund drainage investigations at racecourses including Stony Creek as part of a risk management strategy.
“The total funding of $120,000 involves the replacement of key culverts, removal of built-up silt, as well as excavation and repair of drain connections. These works will enhance track drainage and lessen the impact of future flooding rains, giving greater certainty to the race club to host events,” Dr Napthine said.
Mr Ryan said Stony Creek was a beautiful Gippsland racecourse that came alive during summer months and again in March with its fantastic Cup Day and Easter race meetings.
“These track drainage works are being prioritised so the club is ready for its exciting summer race days starting in December,” Mr Ryan said.
Stony Creek Racing Club Chief Executive Ralph Callagher welcomed the Coalition Government’s support on behalf of the club’s management committee.
“The track is the most important element of the Club’s physical resources and we, like every other club, are concerned to ensure optimal facilities are available to competing jockeys, trainers and horses,” Mr Gallagher said.
“The contribution from the Coalition Government is substantial and with the additional funding from Racing Victoria we can now get on with the repairs and be ready for our first meeting this year on 8 December.” Racing Victoria Chief Executive Officer Rob Hines emphasised the importance of safety when thanking the Coalition Government for their support of the Stony Creek drainage works.
“Ensuring the integrity of each racetrack is of vital importance for horse and jockey safety and these proactive upgrades at Stony Creek will ensure that their safety is not compromised by the track’s drainage system at some point in the future,” Mr Hines said.
“In order to undertake these works, the meeting scheduled for October 16 will be transferred to Bairnsdale.
“After the works have been completed and official trials safely held, we look forward to welcoming the return of racing to Stony Creek which is an important club within the Gippsland region,” Mr Hines said.
Costs for this $120,000 project have been shared, with the Coalition Government providing $60,000, and Stony Creek Racing Club and Racing Victoria/Country Racing Victoria each contributing $30,000.
The racing industry is worth $108 million to the Gippsland region’s economy and supports more than 1,700 jobs.