ACT Labor to provide further support to racing and the equine industry

Horsefest_033_Web
 

We all share a sense of pride in our city. ACT Labor continues to invest in Canberra to make it an even better place to live, work, study and play.

ACT Labor regards the three racing codes – thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds – as an important part of the fabric of our community.  They provide a source of entertainment, generate jobs and substantial income for the Territory’s economy, and help maintain links to our surrounding regional communities.

A viable horse racing sector supports the wider equine industry right across the Territory, ranging from recreational riding to training, veterinary and farrier services, saddlery and tack, and agistment.

In Government ACT Labor has understood the importance of maintaining a viable racing sector and the broader equine industry.

Most recently the ACT Labor Government provided support funding for the racing codes through the ACT Budget, providing the industry with funding certainty over a rolling four-year period, with annual funding at more than $7.8 million per annum.

But there is more to do.

If re-elected in 2012, ACT Labor will invest $250,000 to investigate the co-location of harness, thoroughbred and greyhound racing at a single site.

ACT Labor will also commit one-off funding of $100,000 to support the ACT equine sector to establish an annual ‘Horsefest’ event in Canberra.

Policy costings

ACT Labor will invest $350,000 in recurrent funding in 2013-14 to investigate co-location of harness, thoroughbred and greyhound racing at a single site and provide support to the ACT equine sector to establish an annual ‘Horsefest’ event in Canberra.

ACT Labor’s plan to support racing and the equine industry.

 

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

TOTAL

Co-locating the racing codes

-

$0.25 million

-

-

$0.25 million

Horsefest

 

$0.10 million

-

-

$0.10 million

Total

 

$0.35 million

-

-

$0.35 million

Co-locating the three racing codes

ACT Labor will conduct a detailed feasibility study and cost benefit analysis into the possibility of co-locating the three racing codes at a single site.

The recent ICRC report into the ACT racing industry recommended that the three codes – harness, thoroughbred and greyhound – consider the advantages of co-locating at a single site.

There are advantages to such a move, either through redevelopment of the Thoroughbred Park site or establishment of a greenfield site.

Horsefest

ACT Labor will provide one-off funding of $100,000 to support the ACT equine sector to establish an annual ‘Horsefest’ event in Canberra.

Canberra has the highest number of horse owners per capita of any city in Australia, with over 1000 horses kept on agistment centres (public and private).

An annual festival for horse-owners will be an opportunity for people from the region to come together to share their experiences and knowledge.

The concept of Horsefest, first proposed by Harness Racing ACT, would be a festival aimed at involving as many breeds and societies of horses as possible with a continuous demonstration of their abilities.  This will be supplemented with a series of workshop and master classes run by industry professionals and clinicians to allow those that participate in the industry to enhance their knowledge.

The festival would also appeal to persons of all ages, regardless of whether they owned a horse.  The festival could feature breed displays, trade shows, competition, parades, entertainment, training demonstrations, clinics, veterinarians, children’s activities, and historic carriage tours.

It will be popular with local horse owners and equine industry, and provide a significant injection to the ACT economy through regional visitors.

The funding will be used to buy-in event management expertise to work with the equine sector to develop the festival concept.