RAC­ING In­dus­try bleeds as MPs bicker

Townsville Bulletin - - RACING - NATHAN EXELBY

RAC­ING Min­is­ter Grace Grace raised eye­brows with her glow­ing self- ac­cla­ma­tion in State Par­lia­ment last week.

“I reckon I am prob­a­bly one of the best Rac­ing Min­is­ters they ( the rac­ing in­dus­try) have ever seen in re­cent times,” Grace told the par­lia­ment.

“Let me tell you, we are de­liv­er­ing in spades, de­liv­er­ing in spades.”

Ex­actly what is be­ing de­liv­ered is some­what of a mys­tery.

The com­ments came in re­sponse to ac­cu­sa­tions the Gov­ern­ment failed the in­dus­try on the Ea­gle Farm de­ba­cle.

Nei­ther side of pol­i­tics can hold their head high on this score.

The for­mer LNP gov­ern­ment pro­cras­ti­nated over the sign­ing of doc­u­ments, which de­layed the project in the ini­tial stages and then the new La­bor rac­ing min­is­ter Bill Byrne re­fused to speak to Rac­ing Queens­land, set­ting the time­line back even fur­ther.

It is sad the in­dus­try is at the lib­erty of politi­cians whose main aim is to score po­lit­i­cal points, rather than see that noth­ing short of an ur­gent in­vest­ment is needed to pro­tect the fu­ture of the lo­cal in­dus­try.

While Grace and her co­horts play pol­i­tics in­side Par­lia­ment House, the real peo­ple of Queens­land rac­ing are bleed­ing to death over the con­tin­ued fi­nan­cial ne­glect of an in­dus­try that de­liv­ers mil­lions of dol­lars di­rectly and in­di­rectly to the lo­cal econ­omy.

Barbs thrown un­der the safety blan­ket of par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege mean noth­ing to rac­ing peo­ple. Which­ever side of pol­i­tics is pre­pared to stand up and make a gen­uine in­vest­ment in the in­dus­try will be the ones who carry the day in the eyes of stake­hold­ers.

But at this point, there’s noth­ing but hot air com­ing from all sides.

Stand by for a fresh new round of cobalt pos­i­tive tests em­a­nat­ing out of coun­try Queens­land.

Up to seven horses have re­turned pos­i­tive A sam­ples and the train­ers in­volved are now wait­ing on con­fir­ma­tion of the B sam­ples be­fore con­sid­er­ing their op­tions.

A change in feed sup­pli­ers be­ing blamed.

“We are rac­ing for $ 4000 and we hardly have a bet. Why in the world would we want to use cobalt?” one of the train­ers said.

It was a dud week for Rac­ing Queens­land, with a bun­gle in Townsville leav­ing the con­trol body red- faced. A state­ment was is­sued last week ex­plain­ing why re­me­dial work had started on the track be­fore the ten­der process had been com­pleted.

The false start, which in­cluded the sourc­ing of sand and chem­i­cals, was put down to a “mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion by a Rac­ing Queens­land staff mem­ber”.

“When that was dis­cov­ered work was stopped and the ten­der re- scoped,” RQ Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Eliot Forbes said. is

Min­is­ter Grace Grace.

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