Government Split On Horse Racing


The Greens are at odds with their government counterparts over funding for horse racing in Canberra.

The ACT Government is currently working to re-sign a new M-O-U worth $7.5 million a year, over a five year period.

Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson Jo Clay believes the near $40 million commitment is not a priority.

“This is a really large sum of money at a time when we are dealing with climate change, homelessness and COVID. A budget is about priorities, and I don’t understand how this can add up to almost $40 million of priority,” Ms Clay said.

“With median house prices at $1m, imagine how many public housing homes we could buy. Or we could invest it into the Sustainable Household Scheme to help more Canberrans fight climate change, save money and improve their indoor air quality to get off gas. It could be used to help more people put solar panels on their rooftops.

“These measures all deal with major social problems like homelessness and climate change. They would give immediate relief to Canberrans who need help right now and invest in Canberra’s infrastructure and our future. This is the only responsible way to spend public money when we are dealing with such major crises.

“The Thoroughbred Park Annual Report states that last year they received ACT Government funding of $6.6m and paid out $6.1m in prize money. This looks an awful lot like the ACT Government and the Canberra taxpayer are publicly funding horse racing prize money. And they are doing so in a process that is not based on a grant or public procurement.”

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