The Andrews Labor Government is investing in an expanded drug analysis laboratory that will be able to accept and store samples around the clock – boosting integrity protections in Australia’s premier racing jurisdiction.
Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines today announced an allocation of more than $210,000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fundfor the important project, with the laboratory operator Racing Analytical Services providing matching funding.
To ensure fair and competitive races, the industry conducts regular drug tests of horses and dogs. Racing Analytical Services has been in operation for more than 30 years and provides testing for all three racing codes – thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds.
The expansion of the laboratory in Epsom Road, Flemington will allow routine drug tests to be lodged around the clock and stored securely until they are analysed.
This investment will deliver a new purpose-built contactless, secure facility next to the existing laboratory where stewards can deliver samples as soon as possible after collection. The samples will be held in the secured refrigerated storage facility pending testing.
The racing industry in Victoria generates $4.7 billion for the Victorian economy and helps sustain almost 35,000 jobs in the state.
As the eyes of the racing world are focused on Victoria during the Spring Carnival and with the Melbourne Cup less than a week away, the investment shows the support of the Labor Government for this important sector.
The laboratory project will support 40 jobs during construction.
Since December 2014, the Government has invested more than $3.1 million to support infrastructure projects associated with Racing Analytical Services.
As stated by Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines
“This investment will help ensure the highest levels of integrity are maintained in Victorian racing.”
“We’re proud of our reputation as Australia’s home of racing and this project will improve fairness and support animal welfare.”
As stated by Racing Analytical Services Ltd Chair Maryjane Crabtree
“We’re grateful for the Victorian Government’s support which will create a first for Australian racing – a facility that will allow stewards to securely lodge racing samples around the clock into a customised contactless, refrigerated holding facility.”