The Australian Turf Club has reached out to NSW race clubs struck by severe flooding in recent weeks, donating equipment to clubs and cash to local SES groups as part of the ATC’s Community Engagement Program.
The Lismore Turf Club’s track and spectator facilities, and the Tweed River Jockey Club’s Murwillumbah course, were completely flooded by heavy rains from late March.
Water levels at Lismore rose to areas never seen before, damaging valuable equipment including TVs and electrical items that had been moved to ‘safe’ spaces.
As part of the assistance, the ATC has sent a total of 40 TVs to both race clubs, comprising of 40-inch and 32-inch screen sizes.
The ATC televisions had been kept as surplus stock after being replaced during the recent Rosehill Gardens refurbishment.
Lismore secretary-manager Scott Jones said TV screens moved to a second level of the grandstand couldn’t escape the rising waters.
“The jockeys’ room is low down so we moved a number of things to a second level where they would normally be safe, and the water still got to it all,” Mr Jones said.
“In the betting ring where the TVs sit under the roof the floodwater rose all the way to the gutters.
“We have lost a lot of property and there are many things to replace, so we are incredibly grateful to the Australian Turf Club for this generous support.
“It is just one of many extra costs that have been taken out of the equation.”
Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Brian Charman said water levels across Murwillumbah and the racecourse were three times higher than previously seen.
“Everywhere we walk across the course has been affected, and things such as TVs and furniture were things we would not have been able to replace on our own,” Mr Charman said.
“Our Board has been blown away by the support of the ATC and Racing NSW and when people come to our next race meetings they will be amazed at what we have been able to replace.”
The Australian Turf Club has offered the race clubs excess furniture to replace other equipment lost or damaged in the floods. The ATC donated $1000 to the SES to help local communities in the area.
Australian Turf Club’s Community Engagement Program accepts requests from across the racing industry for help, and has previously donated barrier stalls, running rails and other racing infrastructure to NSW race clubs.
ATC Chairman Laurie Macri said under the program’s charter, assisting the NSW racing industry was a key focus.
“The ATC works to help all of the local communities around our racecourses, but we also focus on what we can do to help other race Clubs right across NSW,” Mr Macri said.