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Record investment in Upper Hunter racetracks

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Upper Hunter race clubs have galloped past the winning post – and collected a $24.2 million windfall.

The NSW Government will undertake a record investment in regional racetracks, including $20 million for Scone’s Bunnan Road circuit and a further $4.2 million for Skellatar Park at Muswellbrook.

Recently-elected Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell said the funding was a huge boost for the sport in the spiritual home of thoroughbred racing in Australia.

“This money will see upgrades to infrastructure and the tracks, providing better facilities for punters and racegoers as well as the horses,” he explained.

“We have the best thoroughbred horses in the world right here in the Upper Hunter, so it makes sense that we also have the best facilities.

“This funding will enable the construction of a new Polytrack training surface and stables at Scone and upgraded patron’s facilities at Muswellbrook.

“Both will enhance the Upper Hunter as a regional centre for thoroughbred excellence. 

“This is fantastic news for the whole region as racegoers will visit every corner of our community as people flock to the epicentre of country racing.

“That means visitors staying in local hotels, eating at local cafes, drinking local wine and shopping in local stores.”

Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell MP with NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Scone Race Club chair Alastair Pulford, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Racing NSW chair Russell Balding, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson and Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said a $67 million package would be split across Racing NSW venues throughout regional NSW.

“The recent Cups Carnival in Scone attracted large crowds with people keen to get back on track,” he explained.

“Thoroughbred racing was the shining light among sport and recreation during COVID-19 and Australia was the only jurisdiction, which did not suffer widespread racing closures.

“In fact, under The Nationals, industry charged ahead with its racing calendar, keeping thousands of people in work.

“Thoroughbred racing is the lifeblood of many country towns, accounting for about 14,000 jobs in the regions with more than 6000 of these right here in the Hunter.

“This investment by the NSW Government will ensure those numbers keep growing with more money coming into our country towns.

“NSW has cemented our position as the leading jurisdiction for racing in the Southern Hemisphere, easily outranking Victoria in prestige and prizemoney.”

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