The Darwin Turf Club issued a statement on Wednesday on the NT Government's proposed funding agreement.
The statement said:
The Darwin Turf Club is appreciative of the Minister for Racing, the Hon Chansey Paech’s, efforts in resolving the issue around the $12 million grant afforded to the Club by way of its Grandstand project.
However, despite the Minister’s efforts, the DTC holds grave concerns over its ongoing viability and the impact that the most recent proposed funding agreement will place upon the racing industry.
Darwin Turf Club Chairman Mr Richard O’Sullivan says that the effects of this funding agreement will have serious implications for the club, not only from a financial perspective but also in regards to work health and safety.
“The safety and wellbeing is paramount with the club expressing severe concerns over the inability to maintain already deteriorating stable and training facilities with the $6 million funding withdrawal impacting on work health and safety conditions and in turn, directly impacting the racing fraternity, its stakeholders and the necessary facilities going forward” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan added that the industry and the Darwin Cup Carnival remains an essential part to both the social and economic fabric of Darwin, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy each year.
“Over $122m is injected into the Northern Territory economy thanks to the racing industry. I cannot stress how important it is to maintain support to an industry that impacts so many, including accommodation and tourism operators, hospitality venues, the retail sector, plus many more” he said.
NT Racing’s peak body, Thoroughbred Racing NT, remains in constant dialogue with the NT Government and is currently working through the most recent proposed long-term funding agreement put forward by the Minister.
“The Darwin Turf Club is resolute in its support of Thoroughbred Racing NT in its ongoing discussions and negotiations with the Northern Territory Government, which all going well, will resolve this perilous situation the club finds itself in. All we seek is to maintain a fair and equitable position and ensure the growth of one of the Territory’s most important industries and associated major events, including the Darwin Cup Carnival,” said O'Sullivan.