By Stephen Smiley
Racing bodies in regional Queensland have welcomed State Government plans for an industry shake-up.
Representatives from the state’s eight country racing bodies met with the newly appointed Racing Queensland board in Brisbane yesterday, presenting a list of recommendations for change.
Three new directors were appointed to the board of Racing Queensland yesterday.
It follows the resignation of Racing Queensland chairman Bob Bentley and directors Tony Hanmer and Bill Ludwig, after the change of State Government.
Warwick Stansfield from the harness industry, John Falvey from greyhounds and Greg Hallam from the Local Government Association of Queensland, join Kevin Dixon who was appointed two weeks ago.
Mr Dixon says the board will oversee the development of separate control boards for each code.
“I’m pleased to say and very delighted to say that I’ve been elected chairman of the board for Racing Queensland in the interim period, as we move towards new structures to be designed, in consultation with the government, ” he said.
Gary Peoples, from the Central West Country Racing Association, says the Liberal National Party (LNP) promised to give $1 million to bush racing if elected.
He says that money needs to be spent on smaller clubs, as well as the larger ones.
“During the campaign, it was to look at 20 race meetings across the state,” he said.
“We think the money can be spent better by making changes to prize money.
“By it going to prize money and not to an extra 20 races, it goes back into the stakeholders’ pockets.
“It’s to bring those smaller clubs onto a level playing field, funding-wise.”
Mr Peoples says a shortage of jockeys in regional areas is another concern.
“We’ve also asked that the control body consider an unplaced starter rebate,” he said.
“The cost of travelling has become prohibitive in the bush, so we’ve asked that the cost of travelling be lessened a bit by an unplaced starters’ rebate.”
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