Adjournment debate

29 November 2022

The Size and Scope of the Victorian Racing Industry Report, released early this year, found that the industry contributes nearly $4.7 billion of value to the Victorian economy and over half this value is added in regional areas.

We all know the enormous recreational and tourism benefits of the racing industry, but it is also an integral part of many local economies throughout Victoria. Much of this economic benefit is generated primarily through race days. While racing has been impacted by COVID-19, like almost every other industry, prior to the pandemic more than 1.8 million people attended a race day in a year, with over half a million of these people attending a regional race day. This significant contribution to regional tourism cannot be overstated. I’m glad the minister for tourism is in the chamber this evening.

In addition to race days, the industry generates ongoing employment for thousands of Victorians, and this independent report shows that more than 147,000 jobs are supported by the Victorian racing industry and over half of the full-time jobs are in regional Victoria. In this place we often hear about how difficult it is to find secure, full-time work in regional Australia, so the racing industry is a very important provider of employment in these areas. More than 8,500 volunteers also participate in racing, and I think this demonstrates a significant contribution to our community and community support for these very, very important race days and this important industry.

I love hearing races and heading to races whenever I can go along, with almost two million other folks in Victoria. It is always a great day out watching the years of hard work by the stable hands, the trainers, the breeders, the jockeys and others coming together to celebrate what they love on the track. I do look forward to seeing the industry grow and support the Victorian economy for many years to come.