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Positive export potential for the Australian horse racing industry

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The A ustralian racing industry m ust actively p u rsu e export opportunities if it w ants to secure export sales estim ated at $160 m illion annually, the . M inister for Industry, Technology an d Com m erce, Senator John Button, announced today. The M inister w as releasing a new report, 'b a c k in g w inners?': the export potential of the A ustralian horse racing industry".

"Backing w inners at the race track is an enjoyable past tim e for thousands of A ustralians, including a num ber of m y colleagues," Senator B utton said.

"The report points out, how ever, th at w inning export m arkets for the racing industry is not a job for governm ent, b u t is som ething that the industry itself is best equipped to undertake."

The report, p repared for the D epartm ent of Industry, Technology and Com m erce (DITAC) by ACIL A ustralia, in association w ith Cox Inall and Associates, looks at A ustralia's com parative advantages in both breeding and betting aspects and other racing services, an d the scope for export developm ent.

"The industry is now well positioned for fu rth er grow th an d developm ent, but to ensure a healthy future, its m em bers m ust be proactive an d look for export opportunities, especially in the Asia Pacific region."

The indu stry has an annual turnover of betw een $14-$15 billion, and em ploys nearly 100,000 people (full an d part-tim e). Total exports are estim ated to be in excess of $85 m illion an d are expected to reach $160 million by 1994-95.

The report identified a num ber of areas w here A ustralia has a com petitive advantage, including the developm ent of betting technology an d associated com puter software; stud m anagem ent; veterinarians an d anim al nutritionists; an d racecourse infrastructure.

The report also looked at som e of the im pedim ents to export, such as im port restrictions overseas, an inadequate export a n d m arketing culture in some areas of the industry, transport issues an d lack of an effective industry representational forum .

It recom m ended that the racing industry organise a conference to discuss key issues an d determ ine strategies an d indu stry policies for the future.

Copies of the report can be obtained through the D epartm ent of Industry, Technology and Commerce, Canberra.

Contacts: A m anda G rey (06) 276 2145 (NR279) Kerry Nagle (06) 276 1932

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