TOWAC Park’s future is not in dire straits and Racing Orange is in it for the long haul to make it a multi-purpose venue for the community, according to chairperson Ellie Brown.
Ms Brown said the $100,000 commitment from Orange City Council would help transform the facility into a community venue.
She hit back at comments from councillors predicting the track’s demise.
“Racing NSW wouldn’t commit as much money as they have if they didn’t have faith in Orange,” she said.
“[Racing Orange] invests every cent we make into Towac Park.”
Although the track upgrades were “very important”, future upgrades to the amenities were also on the cards as part of Racing Orange’s long term plan for the site to make it a community facility, Ms Brown said.
She said suggestions of relocating the harness racing or the Colour City Caravan Park to Towac Park were still options.
“Certainly our door is open to have any proposal put forward,” she said.
Work has already started on the upgrades using the $1.3 million from Racing NSW, despite the council funds unconfirmed until the proposal is put on public display and okayed by councillors.
According to Racing Orange’s proposal to the council, the $1.5 million track upgrade will increase horse numbers at Towac Park, attract more trainers, jockeys and owners, and create an all-year, all-weather training facility outside of a metropolitan centre.
The current sand track is a work health safety (WHS) hazard and is leading to a drop in training numbers during winter because of the substandard facilities, according to Racing Orange’s proposal.