Racing Queensland has welcomed an election commitment from Queensland Labor of $17.5 million
per annum over four years to fully fund the cost of Country non-TAB thoroughbred racing for
The current country racing support package, which was introduced two years ago, provides $21
million over four years, and only partially funded non-TAB thoroughbred racing.
Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said the election commitment of $70 million over four years
would provide security for country racing.
“While we have seen a significant financial turn-around in
the past 12 months, Racing Queensland is still a loss-making organisation and we cannot become
sustainable and maintain this level of non-TAB thoroughbred racing without support.
“I understand the importance of country racing to the social fabric of many regional and rural
communities. During the recent RQ state-wide roadshow I met many of the passionate and
dedicated club volunteers and participants who contribute to the industry. We haven’t yet seen the
detail from Queensland Labor but we believe $10 million of the total commitment over four years
would be for capital works.”
Dr Forbes said that with non-TAB racing fully funded, $8 to $10 million per annum could be
redirected from the RQ budget back into industry support and prizemoney for TAB races.
“The total package would allow us to redirect funds from non-commercially viable operations into areas that will drive wagering, improve the racing product, and boost returns for all.
“We recognise that our prize money levels need to be competitive with interstate markets and this
money would help to address that and improve returns to all stakeholders including owners, trainers
The racing industry generates $1.2 billion in economic activity and employs or engages around
42,000 individuals in Queensland. More than 47% of the economic value is realised in regional parts
of the state.
Country and non-TAB racing in Queensland impacts over 100 country towns conducting more than
260 race meetings and Queensland has the highest proportion of non-TAB racing in Australia, which
comes at a significant cost.
Racing Queensland is actively monitoring all political parties during the election campaign for
policies and announcements impacting on all three codes of the racing industry.