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Funding for Burrumbeet Race Course

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Minister for Racing Martin Pakula (Right) with Paul Brumby Secretary of the Club with President Rodney McKinnon at the Wednesday jump outs at the course.

Big Boost for Burrumbeet Racecourse

BURRUMBEET racecourse is set to receive more than $173,000 in upgrades as part of a significant renovation project supported by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula visited Burrumbeet Park & Windermere Racing Club last week to announce that the Labor Government will contribute almost $87,000 to the project through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. The project will deliver new 11-stall practice gates with an electronic starting system, full padding on the gate divisions and platforms, and overhead pullup bars for the riders. The new gates are expected to be in use by the end of this month and will make training safer for jockeys, horses and barrier attendants. The women’s jockey rooms recently underwent an extension to bring its dimensions into line with the men’s jockey rooms. Air-conditioning has also been installed in both areas, the stewards’ rooms and the public bar area. The outdated manual window coverings on the main building have been replaced with electronic shutters, and the public amenities have been refreshed with new concrete render, doors, toilets, basins, and plumbing to help make way for a new septic system. Racegoers will also be able to enjoy all the on-course action under new shade sails covering a 25 by 14 metre area that will help to block out the heat, particularly during the annual New Year’s Day race meeting in summer.

The club is providing almost $48,000 towards the upgrades, and Racing Victoria is providing more than $39,000.

Since 2014, the Government has provided more than $102,000 to support racing and infrastructure projects at Burrumbeet, including contributing more than $19,000 towards the 2016 and 2017 Burrumbeet Cups. The racing industry in the Central Highlands generates more than $96 million for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 950 full-time equivalent jobs in the region. “Country racing clubs play a vital role in boosting local economies, supporting regional jobs and attracting visitors,” Mr Pakula said. President Rodney McKinnon Burrumbeet Park & Windermere Racing Club added, “We are grateful for the assistance from the Minister which helps our club continue to keep growing.”

“Without those sort of funds we can’t do what the racing fraternity expect you to do. They expect good facilities. We only race once a year and the jump-outs are great for us, but without that sort of funding we wouldn’t be able to have plastic running rails, do kids activities, new barriers this has been a big issue for us the past 4-5 years.” Burrumbeet is one of the few racecourses that has a large number of Group One horses on its track. “I’m sure Darren Weir, Archie Alexander and trainers like that, will be very appreciative of having modern starting gates.”