The Chair of Racing Queensland, Steve Wilson AM has announced the resignation of the CEO Dr Eliot Forbes. Dr Forbes will provide ongoing support and advice to assist with the transition to a new CEO.
Dr Forbes said he had enjoyed working with the current and former Ministers for Racing, the RQ Board and all of the passionate and committed Queensland racing industry participants across the state.
“I would like to thank all of the team at Racing Queensland for their tremendous efforts in helping drive and enhance benefits for the racing participants of Queensland.”
Mr Wilson thanked Dr Forbes for his dedicated service and acknowledged his role in the substantial progress made at Racing Queensland during the past two years.
“Dr Forbes led a significant turnaround for racing in this state which provides a base for further growth. He goes with our very best wishes for the future,” he said.
RQ achieved a $20 million turnaround in 2016/17 and worked with the State Government to promote the importance of non-TAB thoroughbred racing resulting in a $70 million, four-year commitment to the sector as a Community Service Obligation.
“Further we negotiated improved arrangements with Tabcorp as a consequence of their merger with Tatts,” Mr Wilson said.
“One of our key strategic objectives is to increase returns to participants and the improved financials allowed us to increase prize-money by $15 million per annum. That money is now making a difference to all stakeholders.”
Mr Wilson said support to clubs had increased as had infrastructure spending with the development of a comprehensive long-term infrastructure plan for $120 million over the next 5 years. A national recruitment process is underway to find the best person to lead Racing Queensland forward from its much-improved base.
“We have exciting times ahead. Our reinvigorated winter and summer carnival structure has resulted in increased wagering and we want to focus on how to ensure this growth and support continues. It is pleasing that our new Racing Minister has demonstrated his interest and commitment to racing and we look forward to working closely with him.”
The current General Manager of Racing Simon Stout is appointed as the interim CEO.
“I have accepted the Chairman’s offer to perform in this important position. There is a lot to look forward to and a great foundation has been laid resulting in increased industry sentiment as we approach the respective Winter Carnivals,” Mr Stout said.