Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Minister for Education and Training; South West

    Minister to investigate waterwise race track technology

    23/07/2005 12:00 AM

    Racing and Gaming Minister Mark McGowan will visit a number of racetracks in Victoria over the coming week to investigate the environmental and economic benefits of synthetic racing surfaces.

    Mr McGowan, who will leave for Victoria tomorrow, will also meet with airlines and tourism industry representatives in Sydney and Auckland to build on recent efforts to establish Western Australia as the nation’s premier tourism State.

    The Minister said he was very interested in looking at alternatives to traditional grass tracks and would be visiting synthetic tracks at Ballarat and Flemington.

    “Racing and Wagering Western Australia are currently exploring the possibility of establishing a synthetic track at the Lark Hill Training complex and I wanted to see first-hand what the benefits are,” he said.

    “Synthetic racing surfaces are used at a number of racetracks around the world and are proving to be a popular choice with horse owners, turf clubs and the wider community.

    “They require substantially less water, no fertiliser, no pesticides and little maintenance.”

    Mr McGowan will also take the opportunity to visit a multi-code venue at Cranbrook, to see the benefits of incorporating multiple codes in the one facility.

    “The State Government will be investing $20million into racetrack infrastructure over the next two years and we want to ensure that we spend that money in the most efficient way possible,” he said.

    “The racing industry is in a development phase - thanks to the Gallop Government’s reforms and tax cuts - and it is important to make the most of this opportunity.

    “It makes sense to pool the funds and establish strong, well-utilised first class facilities that will help the industry to grow and create more jobs and opportunities for Western Australians.”

    Minister's office: 9222 9111