Racing Industry sends strong message to Labor

18 Feb 2016 4:09 PMJann Stuckey

Racing Industry sends strong message to Labor

In Queensland Parliament today Shadow Minister for Racing Jann Stuckey tabled a poster on behalf of the embattled racing industry which stated ‘Why does the Queensland Government HATE the racing industry?’

“After twelve months of sustained attacks and a blatant disregard for Queensland’s racing industry it is not surprising that those whose livelihoods depend upon it have finally lost their patience,” said Ms Stuckey.

“Queensland’s racing industry will be angered further by Minister Grace’s self-praise in Parliament today, given Labor’s ongoing attacks and cuts to the industry.”

Ms Stuckey said Minister Grace’s grandstanding in the Parliament today about Labor’s track record with country racing would have been laughable had it not been such a serious matter.

“The House erupted in disbelief when minister Grace made the comment ‘there is no greater supporter of country racing than the Palaszczuk Government’ as it was farcical in the extreme,” she said.

“This Government has taken funding responsibilities away from Racing Queensland and into Treasury, and we all know what that means – it will never come back and a number of Queensland’s 120 country clubs will be crushed under new capability regulations.

“Clearly the minister was trying to butter up angry industry stakeholders before she tries to ram through the unpopular Racing Integrity Bill in four weeks time.

“Labor’s contempt for Queensland racing extended into the Agriculture and Environment Committee’s public hearing yesterday when Labor’s Acting Chair, Linus Power, verballed some witnesses and tried to extract answers under duress.

“The aggressive, bullying manner of the chair intimidated well-meaning witnesses who all came prepared to put their case – this is so typical of the way Labor have treated people in this industry.

“Queensland’s racing industry faces even more uncertainty with revelations Labor’s two month old Tracking Towards Sustainability Plan (TTS Plan), has been withdrawn and is being reviewed.

“This unpopular plan, which includes $19 million in prize money cuts across all three racing codes, a reduction in country race meets, and slashing of jockey riding fees, faces the chop.

“Once again I call on the Minister to explain what is going on? Will she confirm if the TTS has been withdrawn and is under review?

“There have been calls for the grossly flawed TTS Plan to be scrapped altogether and demands for new consultation with industry to take place, so people can have their say and be heard, before the Racing Integrity Bill is debated.

“Sadly, it seems that nothing has changed with the new minister. Despite being responsible for job creation she sits on her hands and watches as hundreds of jobs disappear. She might have met with industry more than her predecessor, who refused to meet with them, but few believe she is listening.”

[ENDS] 18 February 2016