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Queensland continues to race ahead

The Queensland racing industry continues to play its role in the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan after generating close to 1000 additional jobs during the global pandemic.

Having published its last Size and Scope Report in 2018/19, new independent economic data delivered by IER – a specialist in the tourism, events and entertainment industries – showed full-time jobs had increased from 12,643 in FY19 to 13,581 in FY21, an increase of more than 7%.

The increase continues the industry’s rapid rise since FY16 with 4,035 (+42%) new jobs created over the last five years. 

At the same time, the Queensland racing industry has seen its value-added contribution to the state’s economy grow to a record-high $1.9 billion, which represents a 58% increase from FY16.

“Across all three codes, we are seeing huge rises in the economic contribution racing makes in Queensland,” Ms Grace said.

“The Palaszczuk Government returns 35% of revenue from the state’s Point of Consumption Tax back into racing, which has allowed the industry to inject hundreds of millions back into the Queensland economy and create more than 4,000 new jobs over the last five years,” Ms Grace said.

“The record $1.9 billion economic contribution is an increase of nearly 60% since 2016.

“Nearly half of this contribution directly benefits regional economies in Queensland, supporting more than 100 different communities.

“With close to 30 race meetings held in Queensland every single week, and total annual attendances figures of more than 675,000, it’s clear that racing is thriving in the Sunshine State.”

Since FY16, strong economic growth has been realised across the three codes of racing including:

  • Thoroughbreds – Rises from $959 million to $1.43 billion (+49%);
  • Greyhounds – Rises from $113 million to $245 million (+116%); and
  • Harness – Rises from $142 million to $184 million (+30%).

Participant numbers also grew by 4% during this time from 41,864 to 43,469.

Click here to see key economic changes from FY16 to FY21.

Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson AM said the published results were testament to the industry’s upwards trajectory over the past five years.

“The Queensland racing industry has done an incredible job in recent times,” Mr Wilson said.

“Not only have we navigated the global pandemic, ensuring our clubs have remained open and our participants have remained employed, but incredibly, we’ve facilitated economic and employment growth like few other sectors.

“This includes almost a billion dollars being returned to racing participants in FY21 through salaries and wages alone.

“Once again, the IER data shows how dominant our size and scale is compared to other sporting industries, and with 83 towns across the Sunshine State celebrating racing as its largest or second largest community event, we will continue to grow in the coming years.

“Having delivered record-breaking returns to participants in FY21, we continue to invest in all sectors of our industry, with further increases commencing at the start of last month.”

As published in its FY21 Annual Report, RQ increased its payments to participants last financial year to a record-high $271.4 million, with prize money reaching $193.2 million.

Click here 2020/21 Size and Scope Report of the Queensland racing industry.