Byrne hides Racing Queensland documents

21 Aug 2015 10:57 AMJann Stuckey

Racing Minister Bill Byrne is under fire for refusing to release key documents about the true state of Racing Queensland’s finances during the Budget Estimates hearing today.

Shadow Minister for Sport and Racing Jann Stuckey said today was just another example of the Minister showing nothing but contempt for the racing industry.

“This behaviour goes against the government’s promise of being accountable and transparent,” Ms Stuckey said.

“When asked to table Racing Queensland’s draft budget documents that has been the cornerstone of Labor’s reasoning behind the supposed blow-out in Racing Queensland’s budget, Minister Byrne refused.

“Clearly there is something in these documents the Minister does not want Queenslanders to see.

“I have been asking for these documents since June for evidence to justify claims that there was an anticipated deficit of over $20 million.

“Only yesterday in a response to a Question on Notice did the Minister provide some figures, but the detail he had promised in earlier statements was missing.”

Ms Stuckey said at the eleventh hour, on the eve of today’s Estimates Hearing, a discussion paper miraculously appeared on the Department’s website.

“Another example of a Minister being sneaky and trying to avoid scrutiny,” she said.

“Right now this industry is in limbo – it has a Minister with no plan, a Minister who sacked upstanding individuals on all of the Racing Codes Boards via phone calls from his staff, and has steadfastly refused to meet with stakeholders.

“The racing industry relies on confidence and engagement but this Minister has failed on both counts.

“Minister Byrne has not only shown he has no understanding of the industry, he has eroded confidence by instilling fear in people of losing their jobs and livelihoods.

“His own language gives him away as he engages in little more than revenge, pay back politics at the expense of the industry’s reputation.”

[ENDS] 21 August 2015