Racing Queensland has welcomed an election commitment from the Liberal National Party to fund country racing in Queensland and to boost prize money and incentives for breeders.
Racing Queensland CEO, Dr Eliot Forbes said the funding commitments are positive.
“We have seen statements that commit to $72.9 million over four years for country racing and a boost of $24 million for prize money and incentives for breeders, inclusive of a $16.5 million package for country racing, referred to as additional funding.
“We have sought more details on the nature and timing of the funding and how the packages relate to each other. What we can say is that any additional money for racing provides an advantage that will flow through to all participants and stakeholders.
“Racing Queensland is pleased that all political parties have recognised racing’s important economic and social contributions to the state. The industry generates $1.2b of economic value in Queensland with around 42,000 individuals employed or engaged within the industry”.
Racing Queensland has delivered a $20 million turnaround during the last financial year and already boosted prize money by $3.2m this year.
“We have developed and implemented a Strategic Plan focused on commercial growth while launching our infrastructure program, with $19 million in projects already underway.”
Dr Forbes noted the LNP’s policy position to change the governance structure of the racing industry, providing for each code to have operational control and more industry participation.
“If the LNP wins Government their policy suggests a nine-month period for consultation and development of a new governance model of individual code bodies for thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing.
“My focus, and that of my team, will continue to be on increasing confidence and participation in racing in Queensland and driving our commercial relationships to deliver increased returns to all racing participants,” said Dr Forbes.