Burch looks into a racing clubs merger

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Minister Joy Burch.                  Photo by Silas Brown
THE Government will explore co-locating the ACT’s thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing clubs as part of its response to an independent Competition and Regulatory Commission report into the future of the racing industry.

The response, released today, accepts the Commission’s recommendations to look at the viability of co-locating the three racing codes physically and administratively.

“The Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation to investigate, in conjunction with the three clubs, the possible construction of a single racing facility for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings,” Gaming and Racing Minister Joy Burch said.

“This work, to start next year, will also look at the feasibility of replacing the existing administrative structures with a single body to oversee the management of the three racing codes.”

Ms Burch said the Government will also provide greater funding certainty to the racing sector by establishing annual agreements that set out funding levels over four years.

“The Government recognises the racing industry’s economic and social contribution, and that financial certainty is important,” she said.

“This change will mean that in any given year the racing sector will know exactly how much ACT Government funding it will receive in the coming four years.”

As agreed between the three racing codes, funding will continue to be split between them: 75 per cent for thoroughbred, and 12.5 per cent each for harness and greyhound racing.

In relation to the structure and level of product fees, the Government will urgently assess the need for amendments to the current arrangements in light of the recent High Court decision on the NSW Race Field Product Fees scheme, and subsequent submissions from the industry, to ensure the ACT has an appropriate product payments system.

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