Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has placed drought relief at number one, launching the 1 for the Bush fundraising campaign to be held at racetracks across the state this weekend.
Under the 1 for the Bush initiative, Racing Queensland will donate $1000 every time the number one runner is victorious across the state’s three racing codes, with the funds to be directed to the Queensland Country Women’s Association’s Public Rural Crisis Fund.
Across thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing, more than 120 races are scheduled to be held on Saturday and Sunday – this includes 68 TAB and non-TAB thoroughbred races, 34 greyhound races and 21 harness races.
In addition, the top-three place getters from the TAB Country Cups Challenge Final, which will be staged at Doomben, will also be awarded $5000, $3000 and $2000 to donate to a rural charity of their choice.
Mr Hinchliffe said that the devastating effects of drought continued to affect communities across Queensland.
“In many of these regional, rural and remote communities, racing plays an important role in their social fabric,” he said.
“As part of the fundraising campaign, we will be generating much needed proceeds for the QCWA’s Public Rural Crisis Fund, which continues to play a critical role supporting communities and families in need.”
Race meetings will be conducted on Saturday at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Kilcoy, Barcaldine, Innisfail, Goondiwindi, Thangool and Mount Isa.
Sunday race meetings will be held the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Redcliffe, Capalaba and Nanango.
RQ Chair Steve Wilson AM said racing had the power to unite communities and engender hope, but with the lingering drought conditions affecting most of the state, help was needed.
“I’d encourage as many people as possible, including betting operators, to follow Racing Queensland’s lead and support this important initiative,” he said.
“As an industry, we all have a role to play.”