Warrnambool greyhound racing is set to receive a major boost thanks to a $1.4m joint funding package supported by the Victorian Government.
The government is providing $685,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund to support significant infrastructure upgrades to Wannon Park, and a further $24,000 to support tonight’s 2018 Warrnambool Greyhound Cup.
The upgrades will see new air conditioning and public toilets installed in the Wannon Park function centre, along with new carpets, floor tiles and paintwork. The installation of LED lights will also save the club an estimated $2500 annually and a new roof will replace dilapidated shade sails over the outdoor area.
A replacement judge’s tower and kennel block floor drainage will improve conditions for officials and greyhounds, along with a new irrigation system, improved lure rail, and a tractor turn pad on the back straight to reduce wear and tear to the racecourse.
The renovations start on Monday 7 May and are expected to be completed in August 2018. Sixteen race meetings will be transferred to Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong or Horsham during the works.
Tonight’s 2018 Warrnambool Greyhound Cup marks the last major race meeting to be held at the track before the works begin. The evening will be hosted by former AFL stars Daniel Harford, Richard Champion and Brent Harvey, and race caller James Van de Maat. Julianne Bremner will also provide live music.
Greyhound Racing Victoria is providing $700,000 to support the cup and facilities upgrade. Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club is also contributing more than $8000 towards the race meeting, while the local Rotary Club is providing more than $2,500 of in-kind support.
Since 2014, the Government has provided more than $1.2 million to support 10 greyhound racing events and six infrastructure projects at Wannon Park.
The racing industry in the Western District generates more than $100 million for the Victorian economy annually, and helps sustain more than 980 full-time equivalent jobs in the region.
- As the works are completed, there will be no racing at Warrnambool from Monday May 7th until mid August.
- That trialling will also be not available from Monday May 7th until Mid July (Date TBC).