Echuca’s Harness Track will be one of the first venues to benefit from the bolstered Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF), announced as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s 2015-16 Victorian Budget.
Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula today announced a $212,851 boost to improve the welfare and safety of horses and drivers, bringing Echuca into line with other top quality Victorian tracks – including Tabcorp Park Melton, Ballarat and Bendigo.
The camber on the turns will be increased from 6 per cent to 12.5 per cent, reducing the centrifugal force experienced by horses and in turn the risk of leg injuries. The camber is the slope of the track, with zero per cent indicating flat ground.
In addition to the camber works, a new base will be installed, and the track resurfaced with fresh material to improve cushioning underfoot.
The overall project cost is $425,702, with $212,851 provided by the Andrews Labor Government, and Harness Racing Victoria and the Echuca Harness Racing Club each contributing $106,426.
Victoria is the proud leader of Australian racing, generating more than $2.8 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 26,500 full time jobs.
Country racing alone contributes almost $940 million in annual economic output, and regional Victoria is home to around 80 per cent of trainers and breeders. Racing in Goulburn alone generates over $227 million for local businesses and close to 2,250 full time jobs.
The VRIF returns unclaimed wagering dividends and on-course wagering taxes back to the industry and allows the three racing codes, racing clubs and other key stakeholders to have a say in growing Victorian racing.
It funds projects and initiatives at tracks across Victoria, supporting jobs, improving animal and participant safety, increasing integrity measures and boosting the raceday experience for racegoers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula
“Country racing has a strong future under the Andrews Labor Government.”
“We’re pleased to support this boost for the Echuca Harness Track, which will improve welfare and safety for drivers and horses alike.”
Quotes attributable to Harness Racing Victoria Manager of Development and Infrastructure, Rob Pongho
“Harness Racing Victoria has placed significant focus on optimising track design to reduce the stresses on participating horses and provide for a more competitive racing product.”
“Thanks to the Victorian Government’s funding, Echuca will benefit considerably from the installation of a new track base, fresh surface material and substantial increase in camber to 12.5 per cent on the bends.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020