Racing Victoria will introduce a subsidy scheme to help trainers combat rising WorkCover costs.

The scheme, to run for two years from February, will be funded with an additional 1 per cent levy on prizemoney.

As part of a safe workplace and participant wellbeing package released on Friday, Racing Victoria will subsidise 30 per cent of any rise in WorkCover fees for trainers.

RV chief executive Andrew Jones said the initiatives were vital if racing was to prosper.

“We’re doing more to support trainers and stable staff by getting injured workers healthy and back to work more quickly,” he said.

“We are also providing short-term financial support for trainers affected by dramatic recent increases in premiums.

“And we are increasing our investment in ensuring participants enjoy safe and respectful workplaces across racing.

“All three initiatives are critical to the sustainability of our industry.”

With the introduction of the scheme, a levy on Victorian prizemoney that already exists for horse and jockey welfare funds, will increase to 4 per cent.

The new levy will be reduced to 0.5 per cent of prizemoney in February, 2026.

Australian Trainers Association president Robbie Griffiths welcomed the move because there would be long-term benefits for Victorian trainers and their staff.

“Significant challenges arise every day in our working stables,” he said.

“This support – combining financial, workplace injury, and health and safety consulting services and education – will certainly help stables better manage many of their challenges.”

Wellbeing initiatives include extra workplace education to reduce WorkCover claims and an improvement in industry working conditions.

RV will also renew its Stableline service which provides free 24/7 independent counselling for racing workers in times of need, together with support from the governing body’s wellbeing manager.

Emergency funding support will also be given to stable staff involved in a serious racing-related incident.