Ballarat Cup success brings back seasonal date debate

THE resounding success of the Ballarat Cup again this year will again raise the debate over when the city’s premiere sporting and racing event is held.

A massive crowd, fine weather, overall good crowd behaviour and innovations from the Ballarat Turf Club combined to make the 2012 Cup one of the best in recent times.

The positioning of the Cup at the end of the spring carnival remains a discussion point for those concerned with the depth of thoroughbred talent as did yesterday’s track conditions. More broadly, the Sunday date, continues to be a major talking point for racegoers and the turf club committee.

A renewed push to hold the Cup on a Saturday would, with little doubt, attract a bigger crowd and increased betting turnover.

It might also entice more visitors from outside of Ballarat to stay for a weekend, rather than a single day. With the right combined campaign, the benefits to retail, hospitality and tourism providers could provide another shot in the arm to the local economy.

The public holiday debate, which has been ongoing since the Cup was moved to Sunday would be put in the spotlight should Cup day be moved again. Commerce Ballarat last week emailed a survey to all members asking for feedback on the Show Day holiday which was ratified by Ballarat City Council again this year.

A slice of the lucrative spring carnival pie must be considered by all stakeholders. The competition is hot, with Geelong and Bendigo taking significant steps in recent years to solidify their places in the carnival.

As Sunday’s event showed, Ballarat is well placed to put on a grand show. Capitalising on the event for the benefit of the industry, the turf club and the city generally is a consideration which deserves wider debate.

Defence Force abuse victims warrant apology

Moves by the federal government to formally apologise to abuse victims in the Australian Defence Force is the first symbolic step towards healing issues which have been hidden for loo long.

The establishment of a taskforce, also announced yesterday, that will oversee a process of restorative justice is a more meaningful way of moving forward.

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