Buchan, Omeo and Tambo Valley racecourses will each benefit from $1,200 in improved safety and infrastructure as part of a joint Baillieu Coalition Government and racing industry investment of $42,000.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said picnic racing played an important role in local racing, providing a more relaxed experience, being able to unpack the esky, kick back and enjoy racing in a bush setting.
“Importantly this also brings economic benefits to the local community particularly the local hospitality sector,” Mr Bull said.
“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.
“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.
“While picnic racing experiences enormous popularity, there is a need to make sure racecourse infrastructure is kept up to standard and also meets safety requirements.”
Of the total investment around the state, the Coalition Government will provide $21,000, Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria will jointly contribute $12,500 and picnic racing clubs will provide $8,500.
Country Racing Victoria CEO Scott Whiteman said CRV and picnic racing clubs were grateful to the Victorian Government once again for its support of picnic racing.
“We are delighted that the Victorian Government understands the important role that picnic racing plays in its local communities with many groups benefiting from people attending the races and visiting the local area,” Mr Whiteman said.
“These occupational health and safety projects will seek to ensure that Victorian picnic racing continues to set the standard for all picnic racing in Australia with massive crowds and community involvement outstanding in recent years,” he said.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government is committed to picnic racing and the tourism and other economic benefits it brings to many local communities.
“Already picnic racing clubs have benefited from more than $50,000 granted by the Baillieu Coalition Government for projects to improve racetracks and public facilities,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Coalition Government is pleased to be partnering with the racing industry and local racing clubs to provide this funding and help build on the social and economic benefits of picnic racing to local communities,” he said.