Warrnambool council will have a special meeting next Monday to consider extending lease terms for the training of horses on city beaches after an intervention from state Racing Minister Martin Pakula.
The meeting, as advertised in The Standard, will “review the negotiated outcomes of horses on beaches”.
Council’s chief executive officer Bruce Anson said 10-year lease agreements would be considered.
“Warrnambool Racing Club and Country Racing Victoria representatives met recently with council officers to discuss arrangements for the proposed additional car park and improved facilities at Lady Bay,” he said in a statement.
At its monthly meeting last Monday the council resolved that the racing club must pay $400,000 to help fund the construction of a designated float/truck park and wash down facilities, otherwise commercial horse training would not be allowed to return to Levy’s Point. The arrangement was to be in place for three years.
The council has estimated the new park will cost $500,000, plus $100,000 for the horse wash down facility.
After the meeting Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive officer Peter Downs said the club would have to look at its budgets and financial situation to find the extra cash.
Mr Pakula contacted the council to discuss the lease length and seek a longer arrangement.
Mr Pakula said a resolution had now been reached, subject to Monday’s meeting.
“There have been discussions between myself and my office with Country Racing Victoria, the Warrnambool Racing Club and council,” he said.
“There have also been direct discussions between council and the club. I’m now advised that the matter has been resolved, subject to a formal resolution of council.”
Mr Pakula said the industry was crucial to the region.
“From my perspective, this is excellent news because racing in the south-west is a vital contributor to the local economy and supports hundreds of local jobs,” he said.
The meeting is at 5.45pm at the council chambers.
It is open to the public.