Country racing has an important and vibrant history in the Latrobe Valley, where the industry creates jobs and valuable training for both animals and professionals in the sport. The Latrobe Valley Racing Club operate horse-racing events at the local Traralgon Racecourse – where currently there are two meetings annually. This volunteer club enjoys outstanding patronage, feedback and support from the local community at their events, and has previously enjoyed a successful three race-meet annual calendar. This reflects the need to increase additional scheduled race meets at the club, however the State Government through Racing Victoria currently disallows this. The club enjoyed three races annually when the Coalition Government increased their allocation but since the current Government changed this back to two, this Volunteer group is – once again – being held back from providing these fantastic events to the community.
In addition to having limited access to race meets, the club also endure having no budget for training funding, due to having less than the threshold of three meetings per year. The industry is constantly expecting higher levels of track presentation and improvements to facilities, but with limited access for revenue generation, the Latrobe Valley Racing Club find it difficult to improve their facilities.
I call upon the State Government to increase the number of scheduled allocations for the Latrobe Valley Racing Club back to three. The benefits of this would be increased revenue for a fully volunteer club, and an additional vibrant event for the local area. It also enables them access to training funding to continue to develop those involved in the local sport industry.
I’m standing with the local community to provide a fair system for volunteer clubs that wish to showcase and promote events in their local area, increase our visitors to Gippsland, and provide an opportunity to raise money for their clubs. These vital funds help these groups build better facilities and provide high quality events for our community to continue enjoy and secure our rich racing heritage in the Latrobe Valley, for years to come