Deputy Premer and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan today announced that the Coalition would invest $4.2 million from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund into a $6 million project to fully redevelop the course proper.
“The racing industry provides an annual economic benefit of $940 million to regional Victoria with the Goulburn region alone generating over $227 million annually for the local economy and employing more than 2200 people,” Mr Ryan said.
“A racing precinct masterplan completed earlier this year found a widening of the track would give it greater flexibility for racing and training.”
“The current track is only 18 metres wide, restricting the movement of the running rail when there is wear and tear.”
“This $6 million redevelopment will widen the track from 18 metres to 23 metres.”
Other project works will include
Works are expected to begin early next year for completion in season 2015/2016.
Mr Ryan also announced additional funding of $13,767 to go towards the upgrade of the Seymour racecourse owners lounge.
The Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said these upgrades to the racecourse and owners facilities were exciting for Seymour and the wider region.
“This major project will make Seymour one of focal points in Victorian racing and grow the jobs and economic benefits arising from racing in the local community,” Ms Ryan said.
“The works will mean we have an optimum racing surface, while the 55,000 owners of racehorses around Victoria are catered for.”
“This ensures that owners and patrons alike leave Seymour with a positive impression.”
Liberal candidate for Euroa Tony Schneider said the funding was part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to building a better racing industry.
“The Coalition Government is a strong supporter of the racing industry and I am pleased to see this funding being provided to such a great project here in Seymour,” Mr Schneider said.
Seymour Racing Club Chief Executive Penny Reeve said club is delighted to receive the support for the major racecourse project.
“The project is a huge win for Seymour and the surrounding region as the work undertaken will allow the racecourse to have multiple rail movements which will spread the work load on the track and assist with maintaining an optimum racing surface,” Ms Reeve said.
Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry said Seymour played a strategic role in servicing the racing and training needs of the north eastern region of the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry.
“This project will place Seymour on a sound footing to evolve into a major regional racing and training centre and will generate significant economic and employment benefits for the region. We thank the State Coalition Government for its important contribution.”
Country Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman said this significant project for the Seymour Racing Club will develop a superior course proper racing and training surface.
“This is a major benefit for the horses and other racing industry participants. We look forward to the project’s completion in season 2015/2016.”
Racing Victoria is contributing $1.5 million to the course upgrade while the Seymour Racing Club is contributing $300,000. Country Racing Victoria/Racing Victoria is contributing $11,767 to the owners lounge project while the Seymour Racing Club is contributing $2,100 towards the total project cost of $27,634.
The contributions from the Victorian Coalition Government for both projects are from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund which is derived entirely from unclaimed dividends, that is, winning TAB bets not collected by punters.