The Marshall Liberal Government’s $24 million investment in the racing industry is continuing to pay dividends with the new and improved Port Lincoln Racing Club officially unveiled on Saturday.
The package of works are worth $192,000 and include new race-day tie-up stalls, a vet room, swabbing stall and day yard and were funded as part of $2.8 million set aside in the Racing Industry Fund for 10 infrastructure projects across the state.
Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Corey Wingard said the new facilities will help to support local jobs while also benefiting the industry and local communities.
“Racing has a great tradition around Port Lincoln and the industry is an important contributor to not only the local regional economy but also to our state’s economy more broadly,” Minister Wingard said.
“It’s fantastic that a local builder was bought in to carry out these works which in turn led to the engagement of local plumbers, electrical contractors, earthmovers and so on.”
Port Lincoln Racing Club chairman Greg Fitzgerald said the facilities were another important step forward for the club.
“From an industry integrity point of view, a new swabbing stall and veterinary room, hot and cold running water, air-conditioning, refrigeration and all those sorts of things, are really important,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“It’s a sorely needed facility and the vets that have been in attendance at our first two race meetings this season have told us how grateful and appreciative they are.
“Another major benefit is the increased capacity at the club which is experiencing a boost in participation numbers.
“Thanks to the State Government funding, we’ve been able to build an additional 19 tie-up stalls, taking us to 111 in total.
“That’s important for us in Port Lincoln in terms of our contribution to the industry, because we’ve got increasing horse numbers in this district.
“We had 106 acceptances at our second race meeting, so we used 106 of those 111 stalls.
“We also have 136 nominations for our meeting this Sunday and I’d expect the acceptances to be around a similar number as last Wednesday, so these stalls are going to be fully utilised.”
The new facilities were officially opened on Saturday ahead of the club’s eight-race card on Sunday.