Dear Editor,

I write to wish the committee of the Mount Gambier Racing Club all the very best for the Scott Group of Companies Twilight Gold Cup.

The Racing Club has experienced some difficult times in recent years but the steady and professional leadership of the committee will, I’m sure, be rewarded by an outstanding event today.

The racing industry is a key economic driver for our State and its regions.

Across South Australia the industry employs around 2,900 full time employees and has 11,000 industry participants. This generates around $364 million in annual economic benefits for the State through the 25 South Australian racing clubs, the majority of which are in regional areas. In fact, it’s estimated that $115.7 million of this economic impact is generated in regional areas.

This is why the Federal Government has recently invested in racing facilities in Murray Bridge, Bordertown and Glenburnie.

As the largest race club in the Limestone Coast, the Mount Gambier Racing Club is a vital part of our region’s economy.

The $1.5 million from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Funds meant the $3.3 million track upgrade could go ahead meaning that even in periods of high rainfall racing will go on, and Mount Gambier and the surrounding region will reap the economic benefits.

Indeed this investment has already delivered dividends for the region when in May, following over 40 mm of rain in the days leading up to the first Gold Cup on the new track, racing went ahead as scheduled.

Tony Pasin MP