NSW country and picnic racing participants look set to benefit from a massive $67 million being injected into racetrack upgrades by the NSW Government.
In last month’s announcement, the NSW government said they would invest the record amount in the 2021-22 budget, with the money to be spent on improvements for grandstands, race-day amenities and racecourse surfaces following consultation with Racing NSW.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro touched on the importance of investing into the future of regional racing.
“This is the largest investment by the NSW Government in racing infrastructure and it is entirely focused on regional NSW,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Today is yet another example of how we are actively supporting a regional renaissance, giving people in regional NSW access to the best quality amenities and recreation facilities.
“This funding to upgrade racetracks in regional NSW will mean more jobs for locals and more money coming into country towns through increased tourism generated by the capacity to host more high-quality race meets.”
Racing NSW Country Executive Officer Brian Charman believed the $67 million would prove to be a huge boost to regional racing, and he praised the NSW Government for their foresight and investment into the sport.
“The recent announcements in the NSW State Government budget are significant for the NSW Racing Industry and a tremendous result for Country Racing,” Mr Charman said.
“It is important to acknowledge the ongoing support of the NSW State Government and the Racing Minister Mr. Kevin Anderson following the announcement of the $67million industry investment in the State’s budget last week.
“The New South Wales Government understands the considerable social and economic benefits provided by the thoroughbred racing industry, particularly in regional and rural NSW, hence they seem comfortable in providing further funding and investment in the racing industry, in part related to economic recovery from COVID-19.”
Improvements at Scone ($20 million), Muswellbrook ($4.2 million), Albury ($3 million) and Sapphire Coast ($650,000) have already been confirmed as part of the $67 million package and Mr Charman was happy to highlight other NSW tracks that would benefit from the investment, although reiterating it would not stop there, with more announcements on the horizon.
“There has been a number of announcements including a $20m investment at Scone Race Club, $4 million investment at Muswellbrook for a multipurpose racing and community function facility and $3 million at Albury towards racing and training facility upgrades and stabling at Albury,” Mr Charman said.
“While other announcements include $500,000 investment in drought proofing and irrigation upgrades at Queanbeyan and stabling infrastructure investment of $700,000 at Moruya – there was also $300,000 for an upgrade of the grandstand at Cootamundra.
“We are looking forward to further announcements of country racing projects over the coming days and it is reasonable that the NSW Government who is funding these upgrades has control over the announcement of the upgrades.”
Racing NSW’s CEO, Peter V’landys AM pointed out the $67m package was an investment strategy, with the NSW Government working closely with Racing NSW.
“I can assure you Dom Perrottet [NSW Treasurer] doesn’t give money out – we had to show a business case where for every dollar the government puts in, they get $1.60 back,” Mr V’landys said.
“They’re going to get a substantial return on the investment.”
NSW Country and Picnic Racing will endeavour to share all news on all future investments as they surface to the public.