An additional three per cent in stakes this financial year has been welcomed by the Tasmanian racing industry.
Racing Minister Jane Howlett said the government was excited to announce increase in stakes money for greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing, in addition to the three per cent increase announced in June.
“This six per cent total stakes increase will greatly assist Tasmania’s racing participants particularly following the impact of COVID-19 on the industry,” she said.
“At the last election, our government committed to increasing stakes by an average of four per cent a year and, with today’s commitment, we will have already increased stakes by 12.2 per cent.”
A further stakes increase for 2021/22 will be provided upon the full year collection of the Point of Consumption Tax and $2.53 million will be provided to racing from the first six months of the POCT, with the majority of this funding to be directed into prizemoney.
Devonport Harness Racing Club president Claire MacDonald said it was a positive sign for the future that the government and TasRacing were committed to the industry in Tasmania.
“For that time we weren’t racing it did make people nervous and we live in a world of a lot uncertainty at the moment,” she said.
“For all racing codes it is really positive that in the current climate we can have an increase of such significance and within harness racing once we get to the point of dividing it will benefit grassroots and ensure the breeding industry continues to grow.”
Tasracing will consult with the three codes in coming weeks to determine the distribution of stakes across the racing program and it is expected that the new stake money levels will be in place by late September.
“For harness racing on the North-West the club will be representing all the people involved to help in keeping the industry ticking over,” Ms MacDonald said.