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Funding for a Better, Brighter Beckley Park

Geelong’s Beckley Park is set for a facelift with the Victorian Coalition Government announcing a $247,020 investment in the upgrade of the main entrance and a new outdoor generator for the harness racing track.

Premier and Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said Beckley Park was an important entertainment and recreational hub for Geelong, with the precinct serving as the home of greyhound, harness and go-kart racing as well as the popular weekly market.

“Beckley Park is a fantastic asset for the Geelong community, located right at the eastern entrance of the city,” Dr Napthine said.

“As part of this investment, $100,000 will go towards enhancing the entrance to Beckley Park to make it more recognisable and attractive from the street.

“The new entrance will include improved signage and lighting as well as automatic gates providing visitors with a safe and clear entrance to the venue,” Dr Napthine said.

Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Chief Executive Adam Wallish said that Geelong was a stronghold of Victorian greyhound racing both from a participant and racegoer perspective.

“The upgrade of the entrance to the venue is vital to the development of Beckley Centre’s profile and will make this world-class dual-track facility an even more desirable destination for people in the area,” Mr Wallish said.

“GRV thanks Premier Denis Napthine and the Victorian Government for their ongoing commitment to the development of greyhound racing across the state.”

Dr Napthine said the remaining $147,020 would go towards installing a new outdoor generator to power the harness racing track floodlights, cutting the club’s electricity bills in half.

“This new generator will save the Geelong Harness Racing Club $60,000 every year. This is money the club will now be able to put towards future capital works and stake money increases,” Dr Napthine said.

“With an output capability of 400 kilowatts, this new generator will ensure the harness club can put on a quality product for racing participants, for racegoers at the track and for those watching around Australia on television.”

Harness Racing Victoria Chief Operating Officer, Brant Dunshea said funding from the Victorian Government had b been vital to ensuring the success of the project.

“Access to this new generator means the Geelong Harness Racing Club will no longer be required to pay a maximum demand tariff for power supply to ensure track lighting on race nights, significantly reducing electricity costs for the club,” Mr Dunshea said.

“This project will also serve as a pilot with a view to similar initiatives being implemented at other clubs, enabling savings across the country club network.”
Funding for the two initiatives has been provided as follows:

•        $100,000 entrance upgrade: $50,000 from the Coalition Government, $25,000 each from Greyhound Racing Victoria and Harness Racing Victoria; and
•        $147,020 Generator: $73,510 each from the Coalition Government and Harness Racing Victoria.

Dr Napthine said the Victorian Coalition Government was a strong supporter of country racing and was committed to further developing the economic and social benefits arising from the racing industry.

“The racing industry provides an economic benefit of $106.7 million to the Barwon region, including 1,055 full-time jobs and the direct participation of more than 5,820 people,” Dr Napthine said.

“Through our $79.5 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund, derived from unclaimed dividends and on-course wagering taxes, we want to grow these economic benefits.”

Summary of works:
•        Victorian Coalition Government supports $247,020 Beckley Park upgrade
•        Works will improve entrance to the precinct and cut harness racing running costs
•        Napthine Government supporting country racing
Pictured: Premier Napthine and Geelong footballers Shane Kersten, Steven Motlop and Billie Smedts with greyhound Alexander Pop and handler George Kantzidis at Geelong on Monday.

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