Caulfield Racecourse Reserve

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield)—My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water. The action I seek is that the minister undertake an urgent review of the trust of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve and the Melbourne Racing Club.

As we know, some 12 months ago there was an Auditor-General’s report on the review of the mechanics of the trust of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve. Unfortunately since that Auditor-General’s report came out there has been little activity. The trust has hardly met and the Melbourne Racing Club has continued on, and it is my understanding that a lease is still not in place in terms of the mechanics of the facility.

This is really important for the future of what is the largest open space in my electorate. It is an under-utilised space where there should be more sporting activity, which I have called for on numerous occasions. We have the lowest amount of open space anywhere in the city of Glen Eira. This is a great opportunity for the minister to work with me and others to ensure that we get a result. The Glen Eira council has been calling for some action for some time. I know that racing is fundamental to Caulfield and that we need to ensure there is a permanent site where racing has a home, but there is uncertainty with the lease and a lack of action, and this is a missed opportunity. The centre of the racecourse is hardly frequented or used by the people of Caulfield, and we really need some action.

I suggest that there be a complete review of the trust and that the minister look at working together with me as the local member to see what we can do to ensure that the Auditor-General’s report is implemented, that there is transparency going forward, that ultimately the people of Caulfield get the best possible facility and the best use of open space and that the future of racing is guaranteed.

Response

Ms D’AMBROSIO (Minister for Industry)—…..I thank the member for Caulfield for raising an issue about the Melbourne Racing Club and the trust arrangements that are in place for Caulfield Racecourse Reserve. He is correct in pointing out that the Auditor-General raised serious concerns in relation to the way that the structure of that trust was established and the potential for and real conflicts of interest that exist. I have had representation from the member for Caulfield and the member for Bentleigh, who is a former trust member, about some of those issues.

We have appointed new board members in order to get the trust up and functioning again. The trust and the Melbourne Racing Club are currently doing strategic land use plans for the park. That of course does not address the main issue. We have looked at a range of options for what we could do regarding the governance arrangement, and legislative changes are required. As I have indicated to the member for Caulfield, I am keen to work with him as the local member and also a representative from the opposition and people from outside on trying to get a long-term solution and a new governance arrangement for Caulfield.

Members raised a range of issues for a number of ministers, and I will pass those on to those ministers.

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