24 January, 2021
Splash of cash for local racing clubs
Three local racing clubs have received significant funding from the Queensland State Government.
FOUR Central Highlands racing clubs will share in nearly $700,000 worth of grants from the state government to upgrade facilities and maintain grounds.
The Queensland Government announced earlier this week that the Emerald Jockey Club, Yeppoon Turf Club, Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race Club and Clermont Race Club would receive the infrastructure grants in the hope of generating additional jobs in the communities.
Each club will receive “necessary upgrades” to facilities, which are part of a $2.8 million grant program distributed state wide.
Emerald Jockey Club will receive a grant of $470,000 for a new racecourse mower, fertilizing and spraying equipment, irrigation upgrade and tie-up stalls.
Emerald Jockey Club secretary Kristy Peters said they were “very excited to receive funding so racing in the Central Highlands can continue”.
“The grant will be going towards the upkeep of our grass tracks to make sure it’s a safe surface for racing,” Mrs Peters said.
“It is going to help immensely.”
Mrs Peters said the grant would “help in getting patrons to our races, as 90 per cent of country towns’ biggest events are race meetings”.
“The increased prize money will bring more trainers to town, whereas before we only had small prize pools,” she said.
“Aside from how it affects our club, it will also boost the Central Highlands economy, as many people will be coming in from out of town and will be shopping and eating here.”
Mrs Peters said “for a lot of people, going to the races is about getting out with friends and family”.
“Our non-TAB races are always going to be family-friendly,” she said.
“There’s a great sense of community at our club – racing really brings people together.”
Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race Club will receive almost $200,000 for a new public address system, perimeter fencing for the horse float area, and to refurbish tie-up stalls.
Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race Club treasurer Marilyn Trimble said the news was “simply amazing”.
“It’s such a blessing to us that we can get all this stuff done,” she said
“Most are requirements from Racing Queensland to bring our standard of the buildings and the club up to scratch.
“Without the funding, we were going to be really struggling to get these things done, because we just don’t have the funds to do it ourselves.”
Mrs Trimble said, “the club was unable to hold a race meeting at all in 2020 due to COVID-19”.
“We depend on patrons coming and having things up to scratch so it’s safe for the patrons,” she said.
“On behalf of the Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race club we would like to thank the Palaszczuk Government for being so generous to us”.
It remains unclear how much of a share the Clermont Race Club and the Yeppoon Turf Club will receive and what it would go towards.
Check out this week's Highlands Leader for an update on additional funding for local clubs