Victoria Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
Major Track And Safety Boost For Bendigo Jockey Club
Victor P Taffa
Bendigo Racecourse is set to benefit from a major $400,000 boost for a suite of key infrastructure upgrades, including a water sustainability project.
“We’re proud to support the Bendigo Jockey Club because it helps to create local jobs, boosts the economy and attracts visitors to the region.” Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said.
- $210,000 from the Andrews Government towards the upgrades,
- $139,000 from the Bendigo Jockey Club towards the upgrades,
- $70,000 from Racing Victoria towards the upgrades.
A new two-megalitre dam will be built to collect water runoff from the club’s buildings and a new 10-megalitre storage dam will be constructed in the middle of the track.
“Safety of horses and participants is imperative and these infrastructure upgrades at the Bendigo Jockey Club will provide a much safer working environment both on and off the track.” Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said.
Low-storage capacity of the existing dam has prevented the Bendigo Jockey Club from harvesting enough water to effectively maintain its racing and training surfaces all year round.
A new solar pump and 2 new pump stations will enable water to be transferred from the smaller dam to the larger storage dam. The works are expected to increase the club’s water capacity by 30 megalitres and generate around $20,000 in cost savings each year.
“Water sustainability project will help ensure Bendigo Racecourse is at the cutting edge of industry standards so it remains a premier racing and training venue in regional Victoria.” Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said.
This project builds on the recently completed restoration of the 20-year-old horse dam, which involved replacing deteriorated wooden sleepers with concrete panels and new rubber matting. The horse dam is an essential training tool that improves horses’ fitness and aids with injury recovery.
“We’re grateful for the Victorian Government’s considerable investment in upgrades at Bendigo Racecourse to improve the safety and racing environment for horses, jockeys, trainers and race day participants.” Bendigo Jockey Club Chair Margot Falconer said.
Last year, the club also extended the width of its terrace deck by 5 metres, using 90 % recycled materials. Along with a new marquee structure, the extension will enable the club to host more patrons on race days and for other functions throughout the year.
Since 2014, the State Government has provided $1.46 Million to support 17 infrastructure projects and 6 race day events for the Bendigo Jockey Club. The racing industry in the Loddon region generates more than $166 Million for the Victorian economy annually and helps to sustain more than 1,640 full-time equivalent jobs locally.