Coalition campaign off and racing

A NSW Coalition Government would provide a cash injection of $5 million to help secure the future of country racecourses.

NSW Nationals Leader and Member for Oxley Andrew Stoner and the Shadow Minister for Racing George Souris said that, if elected, the money was there to support country racing.

“Racing in country NSW is part of the social fabric of our local communities and it’s something we need to support,” Mr Stoner said. “After 16 years of neglect by NSW Labor, racecourse facilities are run-down to the point where the viability of many clubs is threatened.

“Our $5 million funding injection will go towards capital improvements, such as new safety railings at individual clubs like Wauchope, Kempsey and Bowraville.”

Mr Stoner said racing not only held an important place in the sporting life of many Australians but was also a major employer and was a crucial part of the state’s economy.

He said a Coalition Government would not stand by idly as country clubs fought for survival.

Mr Souris said racing in country NSW was renowned for its breeding and training as well as its network of racecourses.

“Whether it is greyhound racing, harness racing or thoroughbred racing, the nursery of the racing industry is country NSW,” Mr Souris said.

The funds would be available for the administration of the three racing codes – Greyhound Racing NSW, Harness Racing NSW and Racing NSW Country – to be distributed to country clubs (non metropolitan or provincial) in accordance with the proportion of each code’s total country contribution to wagering in NSW over the period January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010.

Mr Stoner stressed the importance of local race clubs to the local community.

“By helping secure the future of country racecourses on the Mid North Coast, we are investing in the viability of the industry,” Mr Stoner said.

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