Bendigo Racecourse is set to benefit from a major $400,000 boost for a suite of key infrastructure upgrades, including a water sustainability project.
The Andrews Labor Government is contributing almost $210,000 towards the upgrades, while Racing Victoria is providing $70,000, and the Bendigo Jockey Club is delivering almost $139,000.
A new two-megalitre dam will be built to collect water runoff from the club’s buildings and a new 10-megalitre storage dam will be constructed in the middle of the track.
The low-storage capacity of the existing dam has prevented the Bendigo Jockey Club from harvesting enough water to effectively maintain its racing and training surfaces all year round.
A new solar pump and two new pump stations will enable water to be transferred from the smaller dam to the larger storage dam. The works are expected to increase the club’s water capacity by 30 megalitres and generate around $20,000 in cost savings each year.
This project builds on the recently completed restoration of the 20-year-old horse dam, which involved replacing deteriorated wooden sleepers with concrete panels and new rubber matting. The horse dam is an essential training tool that improves horses’ fitness and aids with injury recovery.
Last year, the club also extended the width of its terrace deck by five metres, using 90 per cent recycled materials. Along with a new marquee structure, the extension will enable the club to host more patrons on race days and for other functions throughout the year.
Since 2014, the Labor Government has provided $1.46 million to support 17 infrastructure projects and six race day events for the Bendigo Jockey Club. The racing industry in the Loddon region generates more than $166 million for the Victorian economy annually and helps to sustain more than 1,640 full-time equivalent jobs locally.
Quote attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“We’re proud to support the Bendigo Jockey Club because it helps to create local jobs, boosts the economy and attracts visitors to the region.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“The safety of horses and participants is imperative and these infrastructure upgrades at the Bendigo Jockey Club will provide a much safer working environment both on and off the track.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“The water sustainability project will help ensure Bendigo Racecourse is at the cutting edge of industry standards so it remains a premier racing and training venue in regional Victoria.”
Quote attributable to Bendigo Jockey Club Chair Margot Falconer
“We’re grateful for the Victorian Government’s considerable investment in upgrades at Bendigo Racecourse to improve the safety and racing environment for horses, jockeys, trainers and race day participants.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020