Harness racing stewards at Geelong, Kilmore and Melton will soon have upgraded facilities thanks to a joint funding package worth almost $150,000.
The Victorian Government will invest $74,366 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund to support the redevelopment of towers at the tracks, with Harness Racing Victoria contributing matching funding.
The towers at Geelong and Kilmore will be demolished and rebuilt to modern standards while the tower at Melton will be dismantled and rebuilt to a height of six metres to provide better viewing for stewards. All of the projects will incorporate safer stair design and the installation of communications cabling and lightning protection.
Works will start this month, with the projects expected to be completed by March 2021. Eight jobs will be created during construction.
The tracks host 128 meetings a year. Melton, opened in 2009, hosts 80 meetings, Beckley Park Geelong, opened in 1978, holds 20 meetings and Kilmore, which has been a harness racing centre since 1895, holds 28 meetings.
Since December 2014, the Government has provided more than $1.4 million to support harness racing events and infrastructure projects at Geelong, Kilmore and Melton. The harness racing industry in Victoria generates $600 million for the economy annually and helps sustain more than 4,360 full-time-equivalent jobs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“Stewards play a vital role in harness racing and it’s important that they have the facilities to do their jobs.”
“Funding for new towers at Melton, Kilmore and Geelong continues our support for harness racing and the thousands of people who earn a living from the code.”
Quote attributable to Member for Melton Steve McGhie
“Tabcorp Park in Melton is Victoria’s premier harness racing track – raising the height of the stewards tower will give stewards a boost to carry out their important role.”
Quote attributable to Member for Lara John Eren
“Beckley Park is a premier racing destination and this upgrade will enhance safety for stewards and in turn for all participants at the track.”
Quote attributable to Harness Racing Victoria chair Dale Monteith
“Stewards play a vital role in harness racing, ensuring compliance with rules, integrity requirements and safety measures. It is essential they have modern, safe facilities so they can do their job properly.”
Reviewed 19 October 2020