Minister for Racing Denis Napthine will tonight visit Bendigo’s greyhound race track to officially open the transformed grandstand and the new state of the art racetrack.
Dr Napthine said the $4.3 million redevelopment was sure to delight local greyhound enthusiasts and the wider industry and represented a significant milestone for the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association (BGRA).
“Over the past year the greyhound racing industry has waited with baited breath for this stunning redevelopment to be unveiled and take its place alongside other recent world-class track developments at Geelong and Healesville,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) recognise the importance of greyhound racing to the Bendigo region and have invested $4.3 million in this splendid redevelopment, with the Government providing $1 million.
“With its sweeping turns, spacious track and racing over four distances, Bendigo is now one of the best racetracks in Victoria. The brilliant new lighting system, upgraded lure rails, improved split timing system and enhanced results board will only add to the excitement for racing participants and patrons.
“The grandstand is a stunner, transforming the spectator experience at Bendigo into not just a racing experience but also a great dining experience. The redeveloped grandstand has the added benefit of being able to be used for a wide range of community events outside of racing.”
GRV Chairman Peter Caillard said Greyhound Racing Victoria continued to invest heavily in the infrastructure of its 13 racetracks, thanks largely to the regular funding support it received from the Coalition Government.
“Aside from the new world-class racetrack with its modern design accommodating the safest racing and maintenance procedures, the refurbished grandstand and new decking allows the Bendigo GRA to operate as a stylish multi-purpose function centre for the Bendigo community,” Mr Calliard said.
Bendigo GRA General Manager Troy Harley said the BGRA was excited about the developments that had taken place.
“The changes have taken this site from an outdated venue to a first-class track and facilities that the club, its members and the city of Bendigo can be proud of,” Mr Harley said.
“The new distances, in particular the 500m trip, provides trainers an opportunity to prepare their greyhounds for the rigors of city class racing over the 515m and 525m journeys in town and there is a genuine feel of excitement in the air among the participants that have either trialled or visited the venue.
“The BGRA is extremely grateful for the financial support provided by the Government and GRV to be able to undertake the upgrade and ensure a very bright future for the Club.”
Dr Napthine said the Victorian Government was committed to ensuring the Victorian greyhound racing industry continued to lead the world with first-class tracks and enhanced facilities for racegoers.
“Greyhound racing is worth tens of millions of dollars to central Victoria every year, generating close to 500 jobs. We want to make sure the local greyhound industry is provided with the very best infrastructure to allow it to develop further and grow,” Dr Napthine said.