WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club chief executive officer Peter Downs expects a solution to the ban on horses working in dunes at Warrnambool’s Levys Point will be reached by the new year.
Mr Downs anticipates a resolution will satisfy all parties.
The dunes, used by trainers to help condition horses on a low-impact surface, were closed to horses last month after Aboriginal Victoria cautioned Warrnambool City Council about potential impacts on indigenous cultural heritage.
Mr Downs said the industry expected this week to appoint a consultant to develop a cultural heritage management plan for the area.
"The whole matter has been a very complex issue," he said.
"It's all been a grey area for us. We're hoping to make an appointment on Friday. The consultant will work closely with the relevant parties including Aboriginal Victoria and Parks Victoria on the Levys Point area.
“I'm hopeful we'll be notified pretty quickly about any sites of significance that are down there. We've got out fingers crossed the matter will be sorted out by the end of the year."
Racing Victoria and Racing Minister Martin Pakula’s office have helped the club respond to the issue, which has put a cloud over horse trainers.
"It's been a tough time for the trainers," Mr Downs said.
“We're working as hard as we can to sort it all out but it's a time issue. We've been very lucky that RV and Martin Pakula's office have been there to assist us."
His comments come after former Premier Denis Napthine slammed Mr Pakula’s approach. Mr Pakula wants the community to find a solution and the government will then implement it.
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