The Cooma Monaro Race Club (CMRC) will move ahead with its plan to build two new sheds at the Ti Tree Racecourse after receiving almost $110,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.
Thousands of racegoers gather each year for the Cooma Races, the biggest race day on the local region’s calendar. NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro, the Hon John Barilaro, said the grant will help the track continue attracting visitors to the Cooma region.
“The Cooma Races is always a great day, with more than 3000 racegoers and competitors travelling hours to take part,” said Mr Barilaro.
“The continued success is thanks to club’s dedicated committee members, who give up countless hours to ensure everything goes to plan.
“Putting together the day involves a lot of hard work, but I know these new sheds will help in making it a little easier.”
Mr Barilaro says the sheds will go beyond simple storage requirements, and will be used to house travellers on race day – once current social distancing measures have eased off, of course.
“The two sheds will be used as a multi-function asset,” he said. “They will house starting stalls and equipment year round, while on race day they will double as accommodation for racegoers.”
According to the NSW Government, the new sheds will also be utilised during emergency situations, similar to how hundreds of temporary shelters, evacuation centres and social service centres were set up across the state during the recent summer bushfires.
The CMRC housed hundreds of Australian Defence personnel who were sent to the region during and after the bushfires to help with recovery efforts.
CMRC President Mick Schofield lauded the state government’s contribution, saying the investment will help the race club give back to the community.
“The club is a non-profit organisation and we like to put back into our community whenever and wherever possible,” he said. “The Cooma Races have been an important part of our local community for longer than the Melbourne Cup has been running.
“While the club only has one race meet each year, the community has always supported the event with many hosting their end-of-year celebrations on race day.”
The third round of grants through the Stronger Country Communities Fund saw the pool increase by $100 million for community projects in regional NSW – at least half of which is set aside for youth-related projects – to a total of $400 million
The fund is part of the $1.7 billion Regional Growth Fund, which invests in local programs and infrastructure to improve the lives of people in regional NSW.