Liberals announce major boost to Ballarat Racing industry

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today joined Shadow Minister for Racing, Tim Bull to announce that an elected Liberal Nationals Coalition Government would provide $5 million funding for a new state-of-the-art synthetic track for the Ballarat Turf Club.

The new synthetic track will ensure that Ballarat Turf Club can host more than 40 race meetings per year, will never lose a race meet for inclement weather or track conditions, and can expand its current training capacity which is almost full.

Mr Bull said, “Ballarat Turf Club is one of regional Australia’s busiest and most iconic racing facilities with more than 27 race meetings annually, today’s announcement will allow for a significant increase in race meetings and the new synthetic track means that race meets will no longer have to be cancelled due to bad weather.”

“I congratulate the Ballarat Turf Club Board Members and all their stakeholders who, through their commitment and passion for racing, have fought hard for this project.” Ms Staley said.   

With its superb location, excellent facilities, world-class locally based trainers, jockeys, vets, and support staff, the Ballarat Turf Club has established itself as the preeminent non-metropolitan turf club in Victoria. The Ballarat Turf Club complex is also the fastest growing horse training centre in Australia.

The announcement was welcomed by the Ballarat Turf Club and local horse trainers.

Lachlan McKenzie, CEO Ballarat Turf Club said, “We are absolutely thrilled to hear of the support from the Coalition for our Synthetic Track Project. The new track will provide additional capacity for our Training Centre, which will result in significant job creation and economic benefit to the local community. It will also provide us with the ability to race in all weather conditions,  and provide a venue to take transferred meetings from racetracks that have been impacted by wet weather.”

Matt Cumani, leading Horse Trainer and owner Cumani Racing said, “I moved to Ballarat because I saw a great future and found the club to be forward thinking & progressive with development. The commitment of funding to secure the synthetic track at Ballarat is a massive boost for all trainers and provides significant opportunity for racing & training.  I believe the addition of a synthetic race surface at Ballarat along with other planned developments positions Ballarat as the best training facility in Australia with world class facilities”

 Archie Alexander, leading Horse Trainer also welcomed the announcement saying that “The new synthetic surface at Ballarat will provide greater options for training and a guaranteed trial surface that’s not reliant of weather.  The horse population at Ballarat continues to grow and trainers need to have a variety of options and number of training tracks to cater for the growth.”

The new synthetic track will attract even more trainers to Miners Rest and will result in more horses being trained which will lead to more jobs, and a boost to the local economy. With one full-time job for every four horses trained, the new track will allow for an additional 200 horses, create over 50 ongoing FTE jobs and 54 construction FTE jobs.   

“This new track will mean more jobs and employment for Miners Rest and is a real boost for the local community and the racing industry in Ballarat.

The Liberal-Nationals are committed to growing our regions, this new track will see more horses being trained in the area which will lead to more employment, and a boost to the local economy.” Ms Staley said.

Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will deliver this important funding boost to not only grow the Ballarat Racing industry but also Miners Rest, Ballarat and regional Victoria.