LNP says La­bor is a threat to rac­ing industry

Isis Town and Country - - Sport -

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.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

SO­CIAL FAB­RIC: Horse rac­ing has al­ways been pop­u­lar in coun­try ar­eas since the early days.

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