Hoops warn of strike
QUEENSLAND jockeys are hoping for a positive meeting with racing bosses today, but strike action has been flagged as one scenario if jockey benefits are slashed.
The state’s jockeys are demanding clarity, as they are concerned and angered about rumours of potential cuts to workers’ compensation, prize money and riding fees.
Represented by Queensland Jockeys Association president Glen Prentice, the jockeys will seek answers from interim Racing Queensland CEO Ian Hall today.
Hall, from accounting firm KPMG, took charge after the dismissal of former RQ CEO Darren Condon following the greyhound live- baiting scandal.
Group 1 winning Brisbane jockey Ryan Wiggins, who indicated there was the potential for strike action if jockey benefits were cut, said hoops were worried.
The apprentice training program has been reportedly earmarked for cuts, even though it was one of the areas to get positive feedback in the MacSporran report into greyhound racing and Racing Queensland.
“We have just got to where we need to be with workers’ compensation, but there is now talk of cutbacks,’’ Wiggins said.
“And it is a real worry if the apprentices scheme for the young jockeys coming through is going to be slashed.
“As an industry, we have come a long way in the last few years and we want to keep going forward, not backwards.’’
Prentice will be joined by Australian Jockeys Association CEO Paul Innes, AJA general manager Des O’Keeffe and experienced Brisbane jockey Larry Cassidy at today’s meeting.
Prentice is trying to make sense of repeated claims that RQ is facing a $ 20 million black hole.
“If there is a big shortfall we need it thoroughly explained,’’ he said.
WORRIED: Ryan Wiggins after winning on Diamond Fund at Corbould Park.