New turf club chairman elected

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
New Broome Turf Club vice-president Mike "Swindle" Windle and president Michael Roe.
Camera IconNew Broome Turf Club vice-president Mike "Swindle" Windle and president Michael Roe. Credit: Glenn Cordingley

Newly elected Broome Turf Club chairman Michael Roe wants to explore fresh revenue streams that include opening the course up to the public for big national events like the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final.

Mr Roe said he was determined to improve the Gantheaume Point course starting with more shade and better stands while improving the public and stable areas, and creating better access to bars. He said it had been a long time coming and pointed to the possibility of generating off-season revenue streams to fund the projects using what already exists at the course, like the jumbo TV screen.

Mr Roe said the time had come to seriously consider other options because club income was limited to a handful of races each season spread over a few months.

“I think we have got to look at that sort of thing,” he said.

“We have got a huge infrastructure here and only host about nine race meetings each season. We need to look at how we can spread out further and utilise this infrastructure, whether it’s for football grand finals or Melbourne Cup events.

“All that is here for the public and I think we need to open that up as a means of income for the club to improve what we already have.”

Mr Roe said budgets had been tight in previous years but the time had come to making the course more attractive to locals, visitors and tourists.

“I think the last few years for the club has been pretty tough but now we are looking at improving areas that have not been maintained for a while,” he said.

“We are looking at easier access to bars on Broome Cup day and making the whole show a lot smoother for the public as well as the trainers and jockeys that come here.”

BTC veteran and part-time bookmaker Mike “Swindle” Windle was also re-elected as vice-chairman the club’s recent committee meeting.

Former BTC chairman Michael Chapman stepped aside from the position of chairman and did not renominate at a recent club committee meeting.

Mr Windle has been on the BTC committee for 23 years and an on-course bookie for 40 years.

“Every year changes,” he said.

“We are going through exciting times and we have great sponsors out there. Hopefully a few more people come to town taking up a new jobs and racing becomes bigger and better than ever.”

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