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Racing backed by Development Trust

20 October 2004

Racing backed by The West Coast Development Trust

The Development Trust has approved up to $86,700 for a pilot project for Buller West Coast Racing. The proposal enables Buller West Coast Racing to provide travel subsidies to attract trainers and horses to race on the Buller West Coast racing circuit throughout the season.

The attraction of a larger and better quality pool of horses competing in races has a direct correlation to the interest shown in events by punters nationwide and hence the size of betting pools. Off course betting is a vital element to the financial income of racing clubs. The subsidies are expected to not only generate increased revenues to the racing clubs but also deliver increased economic activity to the wider region. It is expected through the greater attraction and retention of racegoers and trainers, partners, horse owners, stablehands and jockeys that this will benefit accommodation, transport and entertainment businesses substantially.

Race meetings generate earnings for our communities in many ways and they are useful contributors to the local economy and infrastructure. Racing club facilities are also used by numerous community and sporting groups for their needs throughout the year.

It is estimated that 710 people are involved in the West Coast industry as either a full time, part time, casual or volunteer basis. This is approximately 2.3% of the West Coast population. It is estimated that this translates to around 90 full time equivalent jobs being maintained as a direct result of the racing industry on the West Coast.

In 2002-2003 West Coast thoroughbred races were attended by 10,300 customers (average 2,060 per meeting) and harness races by 6,250 (average 1250 per meeting). These figures indicate that racing is also a popular leisure and pastime pursuit for West Coasters.

The West Coast has a proud racing tradition. The West Coast Development Trust has provided these funds to kick start the expansion of the industry and expects the project will gain momentum and interest in subsequent years.

ENDS


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