Buchan and Gelantipy, Omeo and District and Tambo Valley Picnic Racing Clubs have been allocated funds through the Coalition’s Victorian Racing Industry Fund, State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.
The money’s will aid the upgrade of club facilities, including the installation of a photo finish tower at the Buchan and Gelantipy Racing Club, which received $13,756.
“Picnic racing is the back bone of many country towns and provides enormous social and economic benefits for those communities who rely on these meetings to raise funds for local services.
Omeo and District Racing Club received $2,500 to upgrade power and relocate the judge’s tower; and Tambo Valley Racing Club received $600 to upgrade their power facilities.
“I congratulate all three clubs and the many dedicated volunteers on their ongoing efforts in promoting picnic racing in East Gippsland and providing a fantastic day out that the whole community can enjoy,” said Mr Bull.
Ian Dunkley, secretary, Buchan and Gelantipy Racing Club said, “the announcement couldn’t have come at a better time, as this year we will be celebrating our 125th anniversary”.
“The funding will be for used a number of improvements that the committee had identified, with the bulk to be used to demolish and replace the old horse stalls that were built 35 years ago from saplings and tin.
“They now pose a risk to the horses and patrons, with 12 new horse stalls scheduled for construction.
“This financial support is greatly appreciated by the Club, and with hundreds of racegoers headed to Canni Creek for this year’s meeting on Saturday 18 February, these upgrades will make future race days even more exciting,” said Mr Dunkley.
Minister for Racing, Dr Denis Napthine said the Coalition Government strongly supported picnic racing as a terrific community event which also contributes significantly to the local economy.
“The Coalition Government has established, through its new Victorian Racing Industry Fund, a grants program specifically to support picnic racing clubs.”
“The aim of this fund is to assist picnic racing clubs, largely reliant on the dedication and hard work of volunteers, to build and upgrade racing infrastructure as well as facilities for patrons.
“In many cases, providing improved facilities at picnic racecourses has the additional benefit of assisting other community organisations that use the racecourse infrastructure,” Dr Napthine said.