Labor’s solution to racing – pick a new minister

8 Dec 2015 9:20 AMJann Stuckey

Queensland’s racing industry is in turmoil as anger over funding cuts comes to a head with trainers, owners and former leading jockeys slamming the Palaszczuk Labor Government for turning the industry on its ear.

Shadow Minister for Racing Jann Stuckey said it had become patently clear that ‘Mr Invisible’, Bill Byrne, planned extensive cuts all along to an industry put on hold by Labor for most of 2015.

“It is little wonder Bill Byrne has been replaced after he managed to anger every sector of this industry with his indifference and lack of contact,” Ms Stuckey said.

“One leading trainer when asked about Bill Byrne was quoted today to say, ‘He was a shocker – the worst racing Minister’.

“It is clear many owners and trainers are up in arms due to Labor’s cuts and the negative effects on their income as less horses are bought, and wages and staff will drop.

“Many are commenting publicly they will not purchase any further horses in Queensland and others are considering taking their horses over the border where prizemoney and incentives are better.”

Ms Stuckey said the new Minister had a big job ahead of her to fix the damage caused by Bill Byrne.

“Not only must the new Minister Grace Grace explain these unfair and unnecessary cuts, she must also restore confidence to an industry Labor has all but torn apart,” she said.

“Reinstating confidence will be no easy task as prizemoney is gouged and Racing Queensland remains, leaderless and rudderless well into the New Year.

“With delay after delay and no board to guide the industry, Queensland racing will be unable to attract and therefore deliver quality competition compared to the rest of Australia.”

Ms Stuckey said in a move that further attacked the industry, this incompetent Labor Government announced massive cuts and, with only three weeks until Christmas, tabled new racing legislation.

The Racing Integrity Bill 2015 was only introduced into Parliament on December 3 with a public departmental briefing taking place a mere eight days later,” she said.

“The industry has once again been treated with contempt and Labor has failed to properly consult.

“The timeframes for written submissions need to be in by 27 January 2016, which is completely unreasonable given the Christmas holiday break and the substantial nature of the changes to the racing legislation.

“Queensland’s racing community deserve better. Only the LNP has a plan to grow this important industry and help to unleash Queensland’s full potential.”

[ENDS] 8 December 2015