Queensland Racing under the scalpel

16 Jul 2015 11:40 AMJann Stuckey

Shadow Minister for Racing, Jann Stuckey says the Palaszczuk Government should be ashamed of the way it has treated Racing Queensland and former board members.

Ms Stuckey said the members of these boards have been treated with contempt and disrespect ever since the inquiry into greyhound live-baiting was announced.

“Today we hear of a consultation process to get racing back on track, but this is too little too late,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Minister for Racing Bill Byrne flatly refused to meet with members of the RQ board despite repeated requests, yet saw fit to meet on three occasions with former Deputy Chairman and Labor donor Mr Barry Taylor.

“In Parliament today the Minister broadcast a range of accusations about the management practices of RQ yet former members of the board were denied any opportunity to consult the Government on these matters.

“Stakeholders have echoed these sentiments, reading about industry developments in the media because Labor is focussed on tearing down and shaming an entire industry rather than fostering a co-operative environment.

“Minister Byrne has not been consultative at any stage of this process, instead instilling a culture of fear amongst the industry.”

Ms Stuckey said the LNP had welcomed the recommendations of the MacSporran Inquiry for a complete overhaul of the industry and tough accountability measures.

“If Labor is serious about those recommendations the Minister should have started with listening to the former members of the RQ Board and the strategies they had devised for multi-year growth and strong investment, instead he scratched them from any discussion processes.

“Instead of consulting and listening to the reasons behind current financial positions this inexperienced Minister closed his door.

“From my discussions with industry there were a number of unprecedented pressures including a $12 million loan repayment taken by the previous Labor Board for a stable complex on the Sunshine Coast and pre-planning costs for projects at Eagle Farm, Gold Coast and Albion Park.

“All attempts to speak with the Palaszczuk Government to lessen these pressures were ignored and now the Minister is saying that prize money cuts will be considered.

“This Government should stop talking down an industry that contributes $855 million to the state’s economy and provides 30,000 Queenslanders with jobs.

[ENDS] 16 July 2015