A $21 million support package will be rolled out today to ensure country races continue across Queensland’s regions.
Treasurer and Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government signed off on the rescue package and made it clear that there was not to be a reduction of country race meets.
“While tough decisions within the racing industry need to be made to return Racing Queensland to surplus, I won’t stand by and see Queensland Country Racing suffer for poor management decisions of the past,” Mr Pitt said.
“I told Gordonvale Turf Club President Cameron Riches I’d go into bat for locals and that I wouldn’t risk the closure of clubs like Gordonvale or Innisfail.
“Heading down to our small country circuit is one of the highlights of the year for me, especially the Gordonvale Cup.
“Country racing is an important part of the social fabric of life in regional Queensland where the whole community comes out in force.
“It’s not just about the race meet. It’s the social aspect as well as the significant economic boost they bring for the small businesses in those communities.
“This government is committed to doing all we can for regional communities and the government’s country racing package would give regional clubs time to adjust to this level of funding from Racing Queensland.
“With the release today of Racing Queensland’s financial sustainability plan, the racing industry should be able to start to move in the right direction and become more sustainable.
“The current trajectory of Racing Queensland’s finances has the business continuing to increase expenditure without sustainable revenue growth.
“Queensland taxpayers shouldn’t be underwriting an organisation that has large portions of its spending going to prizemoney on horse races in South East Queensland.
“Racing Queensland has been consulting with industry in developing this sustainability plan.”
Further information on Racing Queensland’s sustainability plan can be found at www.racingqueensland.com.au