Aust racing body buys huge block of land near Melbourne

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Aerial panorama of Flemington Racecourse.
Aerial panorama of Flemington Racecourse. © Bob T via Wikipedia

Racing Victoria is buying a block of farm land on the urban fringe of Melbourne that is three times the size of Flemington Racecourse, with aims to “future proof the thoroughbred racing industry”.

The organisation is undergoing a three-month process of due diligence for the purchase of the land in Melbourne’s north-west. It is less than 10 minutes from Tullamarine Airport and is 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD.

Racing Victoria (RV) has not yet indicated what the use of the land will be, but the area was deemed the most suitable for land banking because of its proximity to key transport infrastructure, its easy access to the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs, the current footprint of industry infrastructure, and the spread of the racehorse population within Victoria.

RV said future options for the land could include “a new training centre, a new racetrack, equine welfare programs, quarantine facilities, and workforce development, as well as community engagement opportunities”.

“With its immediacy to Living Legends and the state’s major horse sales complex, the land provides Victorian racing with the potential to create a future world-class horse precinct within reach of the Melbourne CBD.”

RV Chief Executive Giles Thompson said the organisation had been looking for land in the area for several years.

“This land helps future proof our industry and delivers a valuable asset for Victorian racing. Its size and location provide the industry with a number of potential uses which will be workshopped and planned in the years to come.

“Any development of the land will only occur following a detailed feasibility and planning process involving extensive consultation with all our key industry stakeholders.”

In the coming weeks, RV will be releasing an infrastructure green paper that will consider the racing and training needs of the Victorian racing industry for the next decade with submissions to be invited from all stakeholders and interested parties.

The land purchase will form part of the green paper from which RV will be seeking to finalise an infrastructure blueprint for Victorian racing by mid-2023.

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