The Andrews Government still refuses to support the Latrobe Valley Racing Club (LVRC) in its endeavours to host additional race meetings.
Under questioning on country race dates at recent Public Accounts and Estimates Hearing, Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, disappointingly said he would take no direct action to assist clubs like Latrobe Valley that are losing race dates to bigger provincial clubs.
Mr Northe said the Coalition when in Government provided the LVRC with an additional race meeting; however the number of race meets has now been reduced back to two per year.
“The removal of a third race meet has put further pressure on the club and its finances at a time when it needs industry and Government support,” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said the Minister had refused to say whether he would support these clubs and ruled out doing anything from a budget perspective to help Latrobe Valley Racing.
“We know racing Victoria sets the race dates, all we are simply asking is for the Minister to advocate on behalf of clubs like LVRC, rather than simply say it is a matter for racing Victoria and he will forward on the concerns of the clubs,” Mr Northe said.
“Clubs like LVRC want him to advocate on their behalf. If he is simply going to refer everything to Racing Victoria, one would question why we have a Racing Minister at all.
“It’s disappointing that the Andrews Government will do nothing to support the push by LVRC.
“By contrast, when the Liberal-National Coalition was in power we actively funded meetings for some of the smaller clubs to keep country racing ticking along.”
Shadow Minister for Racing Tim Bull said the Minister had abandoned smaller clubs.
“He clearly refused to say he would advocate for clubs like LVRC and failed to realise that the meetings are not simply going from country club to country club, rather they are going from small country clubs to big provincial clubs and this impacts on the local economies of our towns,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Northe said he would continue to work with LVRC to ensure they had sufficient race meetings to be viable into the future.
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