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Randwick trainers "emotional" over WYD compensation


Horse trainers at Sydney's Randwick racecourse claim that disruption caused by World Youth Day preparations could "send some people broke if compensation is not worked out in a fair and reasonable manner".

The Australian reports that emotions ran high at a meeting between the horse-racing community, World Youth Day organisers and the NSW Government yesterday, with horse trainers demanding swift action over compensation for the disruption to their schedules that could cost millions of dollars.

A subcommittee of trainers based at Randwick racecourse and other affected parties was formed. It will meet again with the World Youth Day organisers early next week.

Up to 40 people including trainers and local businesspeople attended the two-hour meeting yesterday at the racecourse, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, the venue for the papal Mass that will conclude the religious festival in July next year.

Also present were outgoing Australian Jockey Club chief executive Tony King, World Youth Day chief operating officer Danny Casey and the NSW Government's World Youth Day 2008 Co-ordinating Authority chief executive, Roy Wakelin-King.

"It was a very emotional meeting for a lot of the trainers because we were there to advance one issue that had not even made it on to their radar," trainer John O'Shea said afterwards of the group's concerns about compensation.

O'Shea, who trains 50 horses at the track, claims it will cost up to $1.25 million for him to move his operation interstate during the disruption, estimated to last from 15 June to 23 August next year.

"They are implying that if we want to, we can stay; but we are saying it's impossible for us to stay," O'Shea said.

"Somewhere we need to come up with a pro rata figure someone has to meet, whether it be government, church or a combination of both."

Development work outlined by church representatives included building infrastructure for sewage, water and electricity.

At peak periods 800 horses are trained at the track, but the number can fall to between 500 and 600 in July.

A World Youth Day spokesman said the meeting had been constructive and that organisers were "keen to progress the issue".

However, Cummings who is president of the Randwick Trainers Association president said that the meeting should have been held twelve months ago, Virtual Form Guide adds.

"The representative from the church was surprised by the amount of feeling from the trainers but he left in no doubt about how we feel."


SOURCE
Papal mass payout rears up (The Australian, 29/6/07)
AJC Meets With Stakeholders Over World Youth Concerns (Virtual Form Guide, 28/6/07)
Mass Unrest At Randwick (Virtual Form Guide, 28/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Jockey Club
World Youth Day 2008

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29 Jun 2007