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AJC Remains Committed To Sydney Club Merger
The Australian Jockey Club (Royal Randwick & Warwick Farm) issued a statement confirming it remains committed to a merger with the Sydney Turf Club (Rosehill Gardens & Canterbury Park), despite Monday night's vote against the merger by STC members. AJC Chairman Ron Finemore emphasised that, to make its position clear, the AJC would "continue discussions" with NSW Racing Minister Kevin Greene & declared: "The simple fact is that the NSW racing industry overwhelmingly supports the $174 million merger proposal. This is not in dispute. We all need to take into account those people who earn their living from the industry, such as trainers, jockeys & strappers. The $174 million economic stimulus being offered to a merged club will grow the industry, improving the livelihoods of these people, as well as providing a better experience for all Sydney members, punters, racehorse owners & race goers - our customers. The Government's $174 million proposal represents the largest one-off investment the NSW racing industry has ever seen. It will deliver world-class facilities & help secure the jobs of the 50,000 employees in the NSW racing industry. Make no mistake: the only way Sydney racing can grow is through one merged club, supported by the proposed $174 million investment in Sydney racing. The total investment of $174 million for the AJC & STC would put Sydney racing where it belongs - front & centre on the world stage. This is why more than 85% of AJC members who voted supported the plan to merge." Finemore noted "1,176 AJC members took part in the AJC's vote: more than two-and-a-half times the 462 members who voted at the STC meeting. The reality is that all-up on a consensus basis, 75% of AJC & STC members who chose to vote, opted for a merger." And Finemore warned: "Kevin Greene has shown great leadership in delivering this tremendous package of reforms for Sydney racing. It would make our industry a laughing stock if 277 people cost the racing industry $174 million & a secure future. All-in-all, in a combined membership of 13,000, we cannot allow 3.5% of them, who voted 'NO' to the merger, to derail such a critical package of benefits for the whole NSW racing industry. If we are unable to progress the merger & arrangements with Tabcorp are in place, the AJC will continue to lobby its case with Government for the proposed $150 million investment in Royal Randwick to continue, to help attract & grow major events in Sydney."