A significant upgrade of racing facilities at the Goulburn greyhound track was announced today that will allow the Goulburn track to conduct regular TAB racing from 2012 following confirmation of the State Government’s commitment to the cost of construction.
The project, that will cost $850,000, has been in the pipeline for more than two years and will see an unprecedented three-way funding arrangement where the State Government, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) contribute a third of the funds each.
Minister for Family and Community Services and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward, Councillors from Goulburn Mulwaree Council, and GRNSW representatives were on hand at the track today to announce the planned construction which should take three months to complete.
A third of the funding for the kennels was included as part of a $5 million country racing fund, committed first as an election promise, then confirmed in the O’Farrell Government’s first budget recently. GRNSW will receive $1 million of that fund which was allocated based on the size of each code’s country racing sector.
Commenting on the funding the Minister for Gaming and Racing George Souris said the money was made available because the Coalition regarded racing in regional areas is a part of the social fabric of local communities.
“The Liberals and Nationals Government is committed to helping the regional and rural areas of NSW strengthen their economies and community activities and assisting this major project come to fruition for Goulburn is an example of that commitment,” Mr Souris said.
“This upgrade of facilities will bring visitors to the area, reconfirm Goulburn greyhounds as a major country meeting and be a general boon to the community.”
GRNSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM welcomed the funding from the State Government following an election commitment back in March.
“The Board held off on the final decision on the project until State Government funding could be confirmed in the September budget, now we can focus on delivering TAB racing at Goulburn,” Professor Allan said.
“We will now have a quality facility in a key regional area of the state and the result is owed to the joint commitments of the State Government, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and GRNSW.”
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council have been great supporters of the project since a formal request was made to them from GRNSW for a third of the funding.
Once the new Kennels and Judge’s Tower are completed Goulburn greyhound race meetings will be to TAB status and will be screened nationally and internationally on Sky Racing, a fact which was a key driver behind Council’s approval of the funds according to Mayor Geoff Kettle.
“Goulburn Mulwaree Council saw the obvious benefits of entering this partnership with GRNSW and the NSW Government,” Cr Kettle said.
“The national exposure that TAB meetings will give greyhound racing in the local area will be considerable, boosting the sport’s profile and will further contribute to Goulburn Mulwaree’s local economy.”
State Member for Goulburn Pru Goward has worked tirelessly over the past year to help bring this project to fruition and was on hand today to represent the Government at the announcement.
“This is a great day for Goulburn racing and a wonderful opportunity to promote our city and community,” Ms Goward said.
“We have all worked very hard for this and the collaboration between the Goulburn Greyhound Club, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Greyhound Racing NSW with the State Government has ensured this became a priority project.”
It is expected that the kennels and judges tower will be completed during the first quarter of 2012 and Goulburn should be racing TAB meetings by the middle of 2012.