Minister for Racing Denis Napthine attended Geelong’s Beckley Park this morning and announced $144,000 in infrastructure funding for a new outdoor deck and children’s playground from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV).
“The Beckley Centre has quickly become a major hub for greyhound enthusiasts and the Geelong community,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Coalition Government has committed $62,000 to this project to ensure the growing number of families who enjoy a night or a day out at the greyhounds, can continue to do so in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
“The outdoor deck area will be built at the eastern end of The Beckley Centre, close to the parade ring and all the racing action. When complete, it will be in a prime location for spectators to experience some fantastic racing during the summer months.
“The deck will feature seating and tiered steps, while ramps will also be built to provide easy access for parents and patrons, who will also use the deck for the Saturday morning community markets.
“The children’s playground will provide a family-friendly environment and will be shared with Geelong Harness Racing Club. The playground will be complemented by landscaping and pathway works to unify both racing venues,” Dr Napthine said.
The Beckley Centre was officially opened in April this year and is one of the most significant projects ever undertaken by GRV. It involved the development of a multi-million dollar grandstand and a world first second inner track, the Bate Track, named after Victoria’s top trainer Graeme Bate.
Geelong Greyhound Racing Club General Manager Daniel Salter said the Club appreciated the support of Coalition Government and GRV.
“The new deck, to be located opposite the winning post,will be a great asset for the Club and a fantastic location for our patrons to enjoy the race action up close,” Mr Salter said.
The playground equipment will enhance the family appeal of the Club and provide a safe, entertaining place for children.”
GRV Chief Executive Officer John Stephens said the funding was another great example of the Coalition Government and GRV working together to deliver for greyhound racing.
“Greyhound racing is a community-oriented sport, and these two wonderful projects will cater for greyhound enthusiasts and racegoers with young families,” Mr Stephens said.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government was committed to fostering growth across all racing codes throughout Victoria.
“Victorian racing is more than just an exciting sport and great way to spend a day out with your family, it is an important part of our economy and a significant employer,” Dr Napthine said.
“More than 70,000 jobs are generated by racing in Victoria and most of these are in regional areas. The Coalition Government is a proud supporter of country racing and recognises the important role it plays in local communities.”