By Max Davies
Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines announced funding on Friday for projects worth more than $9 million at Kilmore Racing Club.
The two major projects are the $4.55 million Kilmore Water Sustainability Project, and the $4.48 million Kilmore Barn and Tie Up Stalls project.
The club, which holds 44 race meetings and 32 trial meetings a year, currently provides a venue for about 35 trainers and 105 horses to train regularly.
Both projects are aimed at improving the club’s facilities to better cater for patrons and staff.
The water sustainability project is aimed at providing recycled irrigation water to maintain the club’s facilities, incorporating a three-kilometre greywater pipeline that will transfer recycled raw water from the Goulburn Water Waste Management facility to be stored in the club’s upgraded dam for use during periods of low rainfall.
Works are expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The government’s Victorian Racing Industry Fund, VRIF, contributed $450,000, building on a $1 million investment previously provided as part of the Integrated Water Management Scheme.
Kilmore Racing Club is tipping in $300,000 and Racing Victoria $550,000, while Goulburn Valley Water also contributed $2.25 million to both stage one and two of the project.
The Kilmore Barn and Tie-Up Stalls project will feature a large barn with 114 indoor tie-up stalls, wash bays and a veterinary area, as well as nine-metre-wide internal pathways to allow two sulkies to safely pass side-by-side.
The project is funded by $2.2 million from the VRIF, in addition to more than $1.6 million from Kilmore Racing Club, $400,000 from Racing Victoria and $200,000 from Harness Racing Victoria.
The club’s jockey rooms will also be upgraded, including the ladies’ rooms which will be expanded to accommodate the growing number of female jockeys at the club.
Mr Carbines, who visited the racecourse to announce the State Government funding, said the government was proud to support the club and build its future.
“The racing industry plays a vital role in the state’s economy and our investment helps ensure that racing in Kilmore has a bright future,” he said.
“It’s been a few years in the making, but the work has been done and the club deserves it.”
Kilmore Racing Club chairman Ian Wood said the water project would provide greater flexibility for the club all year round.
“It means we can run right through summer, we’ve had trouble in the past with the hard tracks and warm weather is a bit of a nuisance,” he said.
“We have been able to get water [in the past] but it’s sometimes too salty and it kills the grass, so having the greywater from Goulburn Valley Water means it’ll be very good quality and we won’t have any trouble there.”
Mr Wood said the club was excited to see the projects come to fruition.
“What it means is hopefully we’ll get more people here, more people interested in racing,” he said.
“The good thing about having the minister here is that we’ve got representatives from all parts the [racing] industry here as well, so it makes us feel a bit more important I suppose.
“I’m just glad it’s putting Kilmore on the map.”