Lockyer Race Club hopeful industry slump won't affect them
DESPITE Racing Queensland's multi-million dollar loss over the past year, Lockyer Race Club president Ian Lyne hopes the perilous situation with the governing body wouldn't affect local races in Gatton.
Racing Queensland's annual report revealed an overall loss of $12.74m despite registering a $20m increase in revenue, but the losses could blow out to $28m over the next financial year. Losses of $2.67m at Sunshine Coast and $610,000 at Rockhampton were included in the overall Racing Queensland loss over the past financial year.
"With the previous government we were losing a number of meetings, and therefore losing money," Mr Lyne said.
"We need about 12 meetings per year, one per month, to be viable."
The Lockyer Race Club hosts both TAB and country meets throughout the year and Mr Lyne said the number of race meetings had been increasing.
"I hope they don't cut the country meetings down to save money," he said.
"I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope it doesn't go back to what it was."
Racing Queensland acting chief Ian Hall said the financial position presented significant challenges but he was confident the industry would have a sustainable and viable future.
"A sustainable future for Queensland's racing codes must be the industry's number one priority," he said.
"The governing body, Racing Queensland, in conjunction with all industry participants, plays a vital role in making racing strong and sustainable."
Racing Minister Bill Byrne said the government had been open and transparent about the losses since the establishment of the Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board.
The board was established as a direct result of the Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Industry following the live baiting scandal.
Opposition racing spokeswoman Jann Stuckey accused Mr Byrne of travelling the state and damaging the industry in a bid to promote the government's own agenda.