Bowraville Racecourse’s lease agreement continues with Nambucca River Jockey Club

Bowraville’s Racecourse has been leased and maintained by Nambucca River Jockey Club since 1975.

AS Crown Land Manager, Nambucca Valley Council voted in April of 2024 to proceed with offering a new lease to Nambucca River Jockey Club over the Bowraville Racecourse.

The new draft lease has now completed its public exhibition period.

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Since 13 May 1887, the land has been dedicated as ‘Public Recreation Ground’ and is used for shows and events in the Bowraville local area.

According to Andrea Baillie, Nambucca Valley Council’s Property Officer, “The Nambucca River Jockey Club Ltd has had formal tenure of the dedicated reserve for many years, which continues to date.

“The club continues to manage the premises for the permitted purpose of ‘Racecourse and associated activities and public recreation and associated activities’, maintaining the property and providing public events for the community.”

Trevor Wood of the Nambucca River Jockey Club told News Of The Area, “It’s good to have a long lease period (21 years).

“Ten years wouldn’t give us clarity, moving forward.”

Currently race meets are held at Bowraville Racecourse four times per year.

The Bellingen Cup on Saturday 1 June and the Bowraville Cup on Saturday 21 September, 2024 are the next two scheduled.

According to Mr Hall, the club has been managing the site under this format since 1975 although the venue was operated as a racecourse even in the years prior to this.

“We make our returns primarily through gate and ticket sales and catering packages, but there are not usually more than four race-days per year.”

“If there were then it would mean some other club would be losing out,” explained Mr Wood.

“Besides, it’s a very small industry in NSW with only about 130 jockeys and we lose around 30 percent to hospitalisation each year,” he said.

The draft lease has been through a 28 day public exhibition period and is expected to be adopted by Council at Thursday’s meeting.

The lease covers a 21-year period from September 2023 to September 2044 with current rent set at $579 per annum with the club paying land taxes and rates as required.

This rent amount is subject to review every three years.


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