Councillors’ full answers on racehorse training

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Warrnambool’s wild coast precinct, stretching from Spooky’s beach to Thunder Point. Image: Chris Farrell.

Q: Do you support commercial racehorse training in the wild coast precinct? 

Would you support the removal of the planning amendment which currently allows this activity and, if so, will you put forward a motion to request that the Planning Minister remove this amendment?

Mayor Vicki Jellie:

I do not support racehorse training in the wild coast precinct – absolutely not.

Yes, I would support the removal of the planning amendment and have made inquiries with associated WCC staff as to how this can occur, and have received options of how this can happen.

Deputy Mayor Richard Ziegeler:

I do NOT support commercial racehorse training on any of the beaches.
I support the removal of the amendment and would so vote.

Cr Otha Akoch:This issue of racehorse training on the beaches is not popular as far as community is concerned. As a councillor, I will go with the community in supporting the removal of the amendment.

Cr Debbie Arnott:  I do not support race horse training in the wild coast and I would support an amendment.

Cr Angie Paspaliaris: I have a responsibility to acknowledge the community’s unrest and opposition that commercial horse training at Levy’s/Spooky’s provokes, which means I am hesitant to support commercial horse training in the wild coast precinct.

I am a WRC member and sponsor, a race goer; as a Councillor, my balanced view is that it is not unreasonable to expect that the Warrnambool Racing Club has the capacity to adjust and adapt its approach and operations in order to address and respect the environment, community concerns, and a changing society.

I would consider an amendment.

Cr Ben Blain: “With the information presented to us currently on this issue, I couldn’t support this proposal.

I believe there would need to be more work done with all stakeholders in relation to any proposed changes of use in this precinct. As far as I am aware there is no active interest from trainers to use this precinct at the moment. I think the current arrangements in relation to horse training in other areas meet the trainers needs.

“I don’t see removing the planning amendment as necessary, if council aren’t supportive of the the proposal it won’t happen…even if the amendment was removed, the planning minister can always reinstate it if there is support for the proposal in the future.

Cr Max Taylor: I am against the training of racehorses at Levy’s Beach and west of there, including Spooky’s.