ICRC REPORT A BOOST FOR LOCAL RACING INDUSTRY

Wednesday 20 April 2011

The Canberra Racing Club has welcomed today’s Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission’s (ICRC) recommendation that the ACT Government continue its financial support for the local Racing industry.

The Canberra Racing Club says the recommendation contained in the ICRC’s report into the ACT Racing Industry recognises the value of the industry to the local economy and the flow on benefits to the community.

“The report recognises the important role the Racing industry plays here in Canberra”, said Canberra Racing Club CEO Peter Stubbs.

 “The recommendation to continue funding the industry helps provide racing participants with  the security and confidence to continue to invest in the local racing industry. There is no question the Racing industry in Canberra and across Australia is undergoing major change which is presenting us with a number of challenges. But today we face those challenges with more confidence knowing that the independent umpire has come out and clearly said that ACT Government funding for the local racing industry should continue beyond 2013-2014.”

The challenges identified in the ICRC report include a lack of bargaining power in negotiating the price and value of ACT horse races, the historical link between the local racing industry and the performance of ACTTAB, the likelihood the N.S.W racing industry will increase prize money and the growth and influence of corporate bookmakers.

The ICRC report has also proposed a process that could potentially lead to changes in the Governance and management of the Racing Industry in Canberra. They include examining the possibility of amalgamating the three racing codes (Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing) and co-locating the three codes in one location.

The Canberra Racing Club does not agree with the ICRC’s economic assessment of the racing industry and its dismissal of the “gentleman’s agreement” as a vital foundation stone of the funding arrangements of the racing industry throughout Australia

 “We are supportive of examining the Governance and management arrangements of racing in the ACT” said Mr Stubbs. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of the ACT Government and for the ongoing support recommended by the ICRC. We look forward to working with the ACT Government and the other racing codes to building a strong and sustainable local racing industry here in the ACT”.

 Ends

 For further comments contact Peter Stubbs CEO Canberra Racing Club 0412 284 422

 For media appointments please contact David Pembroke on 0416 103 229

 The ICRC report is available on the ICRC web site www.icrc.act.gov.au click on What’s New and scroll down to ACT Racing Industry Review

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