More than $154, 000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund will assist in the construction of Mildura Racing Club’s new solar powered irrigation system, including a new pumping infrastructure. The new system will improve the racecourse surface, reduce its carbon footprint and electricity costs.
Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, said the Victorian Government will assist in funding two projects, with Mildura Racing Club contributing $101,000, and Country Racing Victoria and Racing Victoria adding more than $53,000.
The projects include a new irrigation system and the installation of solar panels. The work will create eight jobs during construction, with a finished construction date of September 2022.
The current irrigation system at the Mildura Racing Club is energy-intensive and the variable water pressure can lead to inconsistent watering and an uneven racing surface.
The upgrade includes the creation of a new dam for settling sediment, increased storage capacity in the two existing dams, and a new pump shed.
This will improve the surface of the course through more effective and consistent water distribution. It will also reduce water usage, maintenance and repairs.
The second project will see the installation of 124 solar panels on three buildings at the club, which will generate electricity to run its facilities on the course, including the new pumping system.
The upgrades will save the club up to $36,000 a year in electricity costs.
Mildura Racing Club’s Chair, Jamie Lanyon, said the projects are a win-win situation for the club.
“A safer, more consistent surface, and lower operational costs are better for the environment – [and] they’ll help us deliver a fantastic race day experience,” Mr Lanyon said.
Since December 2014, the Victorian Government has invested more than $456,000 to support racing infrastructure projects and thoroughbred racing events at Mildura Racing Club.
The thoroughbred racing industry in regional Victoria generates more than $715 million for the economy and helps sustain more than 6,100 full-time-equivalent jobs.
Mr Pakula said the racecourse plays an important role in the local community.
“Mildura Racing Club has been hosting meetings for more than 120 years and we’re backing these upgrades to keep the course in great racing condition and costs down.
“We support regional racing clubs because we know the important role they play in boosting local economies, “ Mr Pakula said.