The State Government’s hard line approach to racing, is seeing regional and rural Queensland left wondering about the social and economic flow on impacts on our towns.
Member for Warrego Ann Leahy MP says she is extremely concerned about the ramifications for Country Racing following the announcement by the State Labor Government to abolish all boards associated with the racing industry, including the Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Board and the Queensland Harness Racing Board.
“While I appreciate the need for serious action to be taken against the Queensland Greyhound Racing Board following the exposure of the terrible practices exposed in that industry, it is difficult to understand why the progressive and successful Thoroughbred and Harness boards were removed from office,” Ms Leahy says.
“There have been significant achievements for Country Racing in the last three years including $4 million over four years towards Country Racing, supporting an additional 20 additional country racing meetings per year, $2million boost for thoroughbred training facilities across Queensland with local beneficiaries being Roma, Charleville and Cunnamulla.
“I am worried about the implications for Country Racing and what may happen to the many achievements the industry has gained over the past three years.
“During the LNP term a revival of Country Racing was encouraged, with new races, improved prize money and excellent management of the galloping and harness racing sector.
“This all led to great outcomes for local communities, who need the social and economic boost that comes with Country Racing events.
“This instilled confidence for everyone involved, clubs, jockeys, trainers and provided much needed employment.
“However, Labor’s decision is creating great uncertainty and many are concerned about what may happen to this industry, which has been recovering from the previous Labor Government’s slash and burn of over 250 race meetings,” Ms Leahy says.