Racing in Queensland is on track for a better future thanks to a deal struck between the Palaszczuk Government and the Thoroughbred Alliance this morning.
Under the deal, prize money levels for Queensland thoroughbred TAB race meetings will increase by $26 million in exchange for a commitment from the Thoroughbred Alliance to continue discussions and sign up to broader industry reforms.
The deal was struck at this morning’s Roundtable meeting, chaired by independent racing identify Gary Pemberton and attended by the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, and representatives of Racing Queensland and the Alliance.
The Government welcomed the Alliance’s acceptance of the offer which will avert planned strike action on Melbourne Cup Day. It will also see the government and industry work together to achieve a more sustainable racing industry in Queensland.
“As I’ve said previously, the long term challenges the industry faces did not arise overnight. There is no quick fix here, but what we’ve seen today are some positive steps in the right direction,” Ms Trad said.
“We’ve had some very frank and respectful conversations this morning and there’s now general agreement that industry sustainability can only come from reform. We’ll now work closely with industry to explore what those changes might look like.”
The increase in prize money will be delivered in two stages by Racing Queensland:
- An immediate $18 million increase on November 1; and,
- A further $8 million increase in six months.
Ms Trad thanked Roundtable Chair Gary Pemberton for helping to secure a deal that will deliver great benefits for the Queensland racing industry.
“In delivering these additional funds, we have increased prize money by 37 per cent since January 2018,” she said.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe thanked the owners, breeders, trainers and jockey representatives for their willingness to sign up to further reforms to improve the industry.
“I was also very impressed with the positive spirit of cooperation from industry participants at today’s Roundtable,” the Minister said. “The prize money increases announced today are in addition to the $12 million boost earlier this year. “We believe racing has a positive future in Queensland and I look forward to working with stakeholders from all three codes to build a stronger and more prosperous industry in this State.” Thoroughbred Alliance spokesman Cameron Partington welcomed the prize money increases as a tremendous win for the industry. “This is a great victory for Queensland thoroughbred participants and I welcome the government’s willingness to negotiate which has helped deliver today’s result,” he said. “We’ve stood united in our demands and we’re satisfied that today’s outcome will deliver for all participants – owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders, not to mention the thousands of workers employed in the industry. “Prize money are the wages of industry and this increase will be music to the ears of our members.
“The Alliance is happy to continue working with government to develop further options for reform which will make for a stronger and more prosperous racing industry. “We’ve shown what we can achieve when we stand united, and it’s now all systems go for Melbourne Cup day, which is fantastic news for all Queensland racegoers and punters.”