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Australia : New round of grants open for Victorian picnic racing.

Picnic racing clubs are being urged to apply for grants from the Victorian Coalition Government to improve their facilities with Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today announcing the opening of a new funding round.

Dr Napthine said funding was part of the Coalition Government's election promise to commit $200,000 over four years to picnic racing for capital works such as track infrastructure, equipment upgrades and venue improvements.

"Picnic racing plays an important role in Victorian racing and is often a major drawcard in summer for families, tourists and local communities," Dr Napthine said.

"A day at the picnic races is a great chance to unpack the esky, kick back and enjoy racing in a bush setting. It is also a great chance to be introduced to the excitement of racing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

"Crowds of up to 5,000 can be common for picnic race meetings and these crowds bring enormous economic value to rural communities particularly to local hospitality businesses.

"Picnic racing clubs are largely reliant on the dedication and hard work of volunteers so the aim of this fund is to assist these clubs to build and upgrade racing infrastructure in addition to enhancing patron facilities.

"In many cases, providing improved facilities at picnic racecourses has the additional benefit of assisting other community organisations that use the racecourse infrastructure.

"Already in the first year, we have seen more than $100,000 in government, industry and club funds invested at picnic racing across the state for a variety of infrastructure improvements, including new running rails, improved perimeter fencing, racecourse signage, kitchen and toilet facilities and the refurbishment of a judges tower.

"These grant programs help encourage picnic racing clubs to improve their ongoing viability and we will look favourably on applications where there is a funding partnership with any interested clubs," Dr Napthine said.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jul 25, 2012
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