Over $1M is available from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) to support projects that will improve racing and training infrastructure, as well as patrons’ facilities.
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Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF)
The renewed Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) will provide funding support to the Victorian racing industry to strengthen the sustainability and growth of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing.
Racing is a major economic driver for Victoria, generating more than $2.8 billion annually. More than 114,000 Victorians are directly involved in the racing industry with nearly two-thirds of all racing participants residing in regional Victoria.
VRIF funding will be provided over four years, commencing on 1 July 2015. The fund is administered by the Minister for Racing and managed through the Office of Racing, Department of Justice and Regulation.
The objective of the VRIF is to support the long-term growth of the Victorian racing industry, thereby fostering stronger economic benefits and jobs across the state arising from racing and its associated industries.
In addition to meeting current funding commitments, the following key priorities will be funded through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF):
- A total of $30 million for improving racetracks and facilities to deliver high-quality racing and training infrastructure and public facilities that will benefit both the racing industry and local communities;
- $10 million for the breeding and sales industry to further encourage the breeding of racing animals in Victoria and to promote Victorian-based sales of racing horses and greyhounds;
- $4 million for drug research to ensure the integrity of all three racing codes through ongoing research to improve the detection of new and emerging drugs and substances that may be used to affect the performance of racing animals;
- $2 million to support the continuation of jumps racing in Victoria by boosting prize money and attracting international involvement in Victorian jumps racing;
- $1 million for the greyhound adoption program to support the retraining and rehousing of racing greyhounds and to better promote the image of greyhound racing;
- $1 million for Living Legends to provide support for the promotion of alternative opportunities for racehorses at the end of their careers, to promote this great tourist attraction and to stimulate a wider interest in Victorian racing; and
- $200,000 for Victorian picnic races, to support essential grass roots racing which provides a training ground for racing participants and important tourism and fundraising opportunities for local communities across Victoria.
Funding for the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) accrues from two sources:
- unclaimed wagering (totalisator) dividends; and
- on-course wagering (totalisator) taxes.
There are four VRIF funding streams:
- Racing Infrastructure – assists all 3 Victorian racing codes and their race clubs to improve racing and training infrastructure as well as upgrading patron facilities. At least $30 million will be provided over 4 years for these purposes.
- Raceday Attraction Program – supports initiatives aimed at increasing on-course attendance and promotion of the 3 racing codes. By increasing attendance and interest in racing, the industry will be better placed to continue growing into the future.
- Breeding and Sales – VRIF will provide $10 million over 4 years for projects and initiatives that improves animal welfare and supports responsible breeding and sales practices.
- General VRIF Fund – Projects and initiatives that support the long-term growth of the Victorian racing industry may be considered for funding from the General VRIF Fund.
The following organisations are eligible to apply for a VRIF Grant:
- Racing Victoria Limited
- Country Racing Victoria
- Harness Racing Victoria
- Greyhound Racing Victoria
- Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs
- Racing clubs licensed under section 24A of the Racing Act 1958 (including HRV Management Limited (trading as Tabcorp Park) and racing clubs registered as part of the Wimmera Racing Club)
- Racing clubs licensed by Racing Victoria Limited as a picnic racing club
- Racing clubs licensed by Harness Racing Victoria as a graduation club
Associated racing industry bodies and stakeholders (e.g. Victorian Jockeys’ Association, Australian Trainers’ Association (Victorian Branch), Racing Analytical Services Limited) may also apply for VRIF funding, subject to written evidence of consultation and support from the relevant controlling body.
Applications can be made at any time for the following programs:
- Racing Infrastructure
- Breeding and Sales
- General VRIF Fund
Racing Attraction Program applications must be submitted at least 6 months before the scheduled event date to enable sufficient time for applicants to promote their event to a wider audience.
Applicants may be considered within the 6 month timeframe, subject to a request from the applicant to the Office of Racing.