LNP says Labor is a threat to racing industry
RACING Minister Bill Byrne has reaffirmed Queensland country racing has a gloomy future under Labor after failing to rule out funding cuts to the industry.
Shadow Racing Minister Jann Stuckey said an inexperienced Labor Government and minister who fostered a culture of fear and uncertainty threatened the lifeblood of rural and regional communities across the state.
“When asked in Parliament today, Minister Byrne refused to rule out cuts to prizemoney and funding for regional race meets and failed to provide any certainty for communities that rely so heavily on country racing,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The former LNP government boosted prizemoney and committed an additional $4 million over four years for country racing because we recognised its significant benefits to local economies across regional Queensland.
“The minister refuses to provide any comfort to the folk who rely on this industry and the communities who rely so heavily on this support.
“It beggars belief that, at a time when rural and regional Queensland is facing its worst drought in history, that the Palaszczuk Labor Government looks set to pull the pin on an industry that provides immeasurable economic and social benefits to these communities.
“The minister needs to come clean and reveal his plan to starve regional communities of their country racing.”
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar said country racing was so important to the social interaction of rural and remote areas.
“It’s also a big contributor to the local economy, employing trainers, strappers, jockeys and also playing a vital in raising much-needed funds to local schools and equipment for local hospitals,” he said.
“I call on the minister not to cut race days in Gregory.”
SOCIAL FABRIC: Horse racing has always been popular in country areas since the early days.