Racing clubs across regional Queensland will share in $2.6 million of infrastructure funding thanks to the last round of the Country Racing Program.
Meanwhile the Palaszczuk Government’s new sustainable funding model for Queensland racing, which takes effect today, has allowed Racing Queensland (RQ) to boost total prize money by $31 million in 2023.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said 48 projects at 40 clubs have been approved for delivery as part of the fifth round of the Country Racing Program.
“The Country Racing Program is supporting our country racing clubs by providing assistance for important upgrades and maintenance,” Ms Grace said.
“The Palaszczuk Government supports our country racing clubs, that are at the heart of so many of Queensland’s regional communities.
“The economic contribution of the Queensland racing industry has soared 60 per cent under the Palaszczuk Government to a record of almost $2 billion, with the industry supporting about 14,000 jobs a year.
“Of the 110 communities that we race in across the state, 85 celebrate racing as their largest or second largest community event.
“The Country Racing Program has supported good jobs and the great lifestyle involved with rural and regional racing since its inception in 2018.
“More than 300 projects have been supported by the program in that time.
“The program has served a valuable purpose, and with the Palaszczuk Government’s new sustainable funding model for Queensland racing kicking in today, the fifth round of the Country Racing Program will be its last.
“From today, 80 per cent of revenue generated by the betting tax will go straight back to the industry, up from 35 per cent, creating greater funding certainty for country racing in Queensland.
“Under this new model, there will be greater minimum funding requirements for country thoroughbred racing, that will see at least $20 million devoted to country racing per year.
“This is greater than the $17.6 million per year for prize money, club payments and infrastructure provided under the current Country Racing Program.
“The change in the funding model has also allowed RQ to bolster prize money, and I’m pleased to announce there will be a $31 million increase in prize money across all codes next year.
“That’s an extra $17 million for thoroughbreds, $9 million for greyhounds and almost $5 million for harness racing.”
RQ Chairman Steve Wilson AM said the industry is going from strength-to-strength with prize money all but doubling in seven years.
“RQ boasts a relentless focus on growing revenue which enables growing returns to participants beyond $330 million by 2025 and a $450 million infrastructure pipeline over the next 5 years,” Mr Wilson said.
“This includes the redeveloped Gold Coast tracks and lights, the approved Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre, the proposed state-of-the-art Queensland Harness Centre of Excellence and an Eagle Farm Events Centre.”
Click here to see the full list of approved projects as part of Round 5 of the Country Racing Program.
For more details on the $31 million increase to racing prize money, contact RQ Media.