The Queensland Government has announced a $21 million stimulus package for Queensland Country Racing to ensure the growth of racing in regional Queensland.
The economic support package will be delivered over four years and comes in the face of $4.6 million cuts to country racing prizemoney by Queensland Racing.
Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne says compensation package will ensure the continuation of country racing over the next four years, assuaging fears about the future of country racing.
“With the release today of Racing Queensland’s financial sustainability plan, I believe the racing industry will now be able to start to move in the right direction in getting back on its feet,” he says.
The financial sustainability plan outlines that $8 million from the stimulus package will go towards supporting country racing clubs to develop pathways towards future sustainability and growing independent revenue.
Mr Byrne says the funding is aimed at getting the country racing industry back on track after financial instability.
“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,” he says.
“With around 86% of Queensland now drought declared, this government is committed to do all we can for regional communities during this time of hardship.”
While the short-term relief for Queensland country races is good news, the state Government’s stimulus package doesn’t measure up to racing initiatives in other parts of the country.
The New South Wales Government last week announced at $21 million increase to racing prizemoney, which will take effect in July next year.