The Ballarat Turf Club will receive more than $247,000 to support three major infrastructure projects and key racing days at the Dowling Forest Racecourse this year.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula visited the racecourse today to announce the Andrews Labor Government will contribute more than $124,000 to the initiatives through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
More than $34,000 will be spent on a TurfTrax GoingStick track measurement device that will improve safety for jockeys and horses on the track.
The technology measures the penetration and resistance of racing surfaces and, coupled with a track mapping system, provides more detailed breakdowns of surface conditions across the track.
More than $23,000 will be invested in replacing the club’s manual irrigation system, which currently requires over 500 hours of labour each year. Installing a new automatic system will save the club around $12,500 every year.
The club’s audio visual equipment will get a $3,300 upgrade, which will remove the need for temporary infrastructure and loose cabling, and significantly improve the broadcast quality of all the oncourse action.
Racing fans won’t miss out either, with more than $186,000 for major race meetings throughout the year. More than $50,000 will go towards the Grand National Steeplechase Day in August, and almost $136,000 will go to seven community themed race days held between April and November.
Ballarat Turf Club will provide more than $94,000 towards the upgrades and events, Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria will contribute more than $22,000, and generous locals have donated almost $6000 of in-kind support.
The Government has provided more than $1.16 million to support thoroughbred racing in Ballarat since 2014 – including $728,000 in infrastructure projects, and almost $432,000 in race day attractions at 10 race meetings.
The racing industry in the Central Highlands generates more than $96 million for the Victorian economy and helps to sustain more than 950 full-time equivalent jobs in the region.
Quote attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“The Andrews Labor Government is supporting regional racing in Victoria because it creates jobs, boosts the economy and drives tourism.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
"This major funding boost will make sure that Ballarat continues to attract some of the best country racing in the state and will help to keep jockeys and horses safe."
Quote attributable to Con Powell Chairman Ballarat Turf Club
“Ballarat is home to some of the best horses, trainers and jockeys in Australia, and the support we’ve received today from the Victorian Government ensures that it will continue to stay that way.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020