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Accelerated Investment Plan to boost Queensland racing

The Queensland racing industry will receive a further $7.5 million in funding from January 1, 2022 as part of an accelerated Investment Growth Plan which will deliver $15.3 million over the next 12 months.

With $7.5 million of prize money and riding and driving fee increases delivered at the start of the year, a further $28.9 million increase was announced in late July through the Palaszczuk Government’s budget commitment of returning 35% of Point of Consumption taxes back to the racing industry.

Following record-breaking returns to participants in 2020/21, further increases will be delivered in the New Year after the Australian wagering market continued to perform strongly throughout the first quarter of 2021/22, along with infrastructure grants and expanded animal care funding.

“This is made possible by the Palaszczuk Government’s changes to fund 35% of the Point of Consumption tax back to the industry," Racing Minister Grace Grace said.

“It has enabled Racing Queensland to not only bring forward funding from July 2022 to January 2022, but to increase it from $7.5 million to $15.3 million.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s continued support of racing has seen a significant increase in economic contribution across the state.

“With more than 12,500 Queenslanders now employed in racing – an increase of more than 1,000 over the past two years – the Queensland racing industry continues to make a significant contribution to the state’s economy."

Having already delivered two funding tranches this year, Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson AM said further support would be provided in the New Year including prize money increases for provincial, regional and country, along with harness and greyhounds.

Approximately $4 million annually will be provided to replacing critical racing assets and infrastructure.

“With almost 40,000 participants across the state, it’s imperative that we provide them with the ongoing support – and confidence – to continue to work and invest within the Queensland racing industry,” Mr Wilson said.

“Having grown annual returns to a record-high of $271 million in FY21, a year-on-year increase of 22%, we continue to set aggressive targets for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

“As part of the funding announcement, provincial, regional and country racing will be supported, while greyhounds are a major beneficiary of prize money increases after enjoying a record year of growth and strong profitability.

“Already positioned as one of the top-five richest greyhound races in the world, the Brisbane Cup will grow to $525,000 with $350,000 going to the winner.

“There is also $3 million in general prize money increases for the greyhound code.”

Up-coming prize money increases include:

Thoroughbreds

$5.5 million in increased prize money primarily for grass roots racing including:

  • Increases of $1.5k-$2k for all provincial TAB races across QLD;
  • Introduction of an SEQ $50k showcase race weekly;
  • A $2k boost for country TAB races to enhance returns in regional and remote areas.  

Greyhounds

$4.6 million in increased prize money including:

  • $3.0 m increase to general prize money spread across all classes and distances;
  • Increasing the appearance fee to $100 for staying races, and $80 for sprint and middle-distance races between 498m and 699m;
  • Increasing unplaced prize money to $20 for all classes and distances;
  • $685k increase for Group race events including the Brisbane Cup rising to $525k ($350k to the winner), taking the Golden Sands (600m) to Group 1 prize money and taking the Capalaba, Rockhampton and Bundaberg Cups to Group 2 prize money;
  • $313k increase for non-Group feature events across all tracks; and
  • $150k allocation towards races for Queensland bred greyhounds.
  • Further funding earmarked to address critical racing assets including:
  • Front and back straight and sectional cameras at all tracks; and
  • Delivery of the Bundaberg track rebuild.

Harness

$800,000 in increased prize money including:

  • Creating an additional Saturday night $20k feature races at Albion Park; and
  • Increasing trainers’ winning percentage to 10%.