The NSW Nationals in the state government have welcomed the return of crowds of up to 5,000 people to regional racecourses and tracks as the state strengthens its commitment to economic recovery.
Nationals Minister responsible for Racing Kevin Anderson said racing in NSW has led the way when it comes to operating through COVID-19 and now fans of all three codes can once again make their way trackside for live entertainment.
“The three racing codes should be commended for the way they operated during the COVID pandemic and it is fantastic to see crowds now returning to the track,” Mr Anderson said.
“As NSW races towards our vaccination targets and restrictions ease, the NSW Government is focused on supporting industries which provide valuable jobs and economic stimulus.
“Racing is the backbone of many regional communities and supported crucial jobs right throughout the pandemic. For many towns, the annual race day is so much more than just a punt with mates, it’s a day out for the family and a chance to see old friends.
“Race meets also bring very welcome economic stimulus to town and I know many communities are looking forward to welcoming tourist dollars in their tills as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Mr Anderson said the NSW Government has provided record funding to the thoroughbred, greyhound, and harness racing industries to make them even stronger as they recover from COVID-19.
“The NSW Government invested record amounts of funding to support the racing industry over the past 12 months, including $67 million to upgrade regional racetracks. We fixed the funding model for GWIC, freeing up tens of millions of dollars for the greyhound industry to use on capital investment. and invested $4.2 million for the construction of a new harness racing training centre in Bathurst and assistance to rehome former harness racing horses,” Mr Anderson said.
“The racing industry provides significant stimulus to regional communities, creating tens of thousands of jobs and injecting billions of dollars into to the state’s economy. This support from the NSW Government will only mean those numbers increase.”