Racing in Queensland will take on a new look if the March 24 State election goes to plan for the Liberal National Party.
Opposition deputy leader Tim Nicholls said if the LNP gained Government in the upcoming election they would dismantle the combined structure of all three racing codes coming under the one banner of Racing Queensland.
“If elected we will go back and look again at the racing infrastructure plan,” Nicholls.
Nicholls also insisted that the industry, needs people within the racing codes to have a say in its administration. “We need people in the industry having a say,” he added.
The LNP will propose to bring the control back to three separate control boards, one for the greyhounds, one for the thoroughbreds and one for harness racing.
“We want to give industry people a say in how those boards are managed and who should be on them,” Nicholls said.
Nicholls, who lives in the heart of the racing precinct in Hendra, also has Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses and Albion Park in his electorate and as Shadow Racing Minister he has first hand knowledge of the industry.
Nicholls said the experiment of bringing all three codes into one with Racing Queensland hasn’t worked. “It hasn’t delivered what was promised and there is a lot of discontent out there. There is a lack of ability for industry participants to have a say in the future of their code. Industry participants who have spent their entire life in the industry are being ignored.”
The LNP has already announced an additional $1m prize money for rural and regional racing if elected and will also raise issues about modernising the industry in Queensland and providing services that they need.
Areas that will come under notice is the Deagon racecourse that Racing Queensland wants to redevelop from a thoroughbred training facility into a greyhound and harness complex.
Nicholls has already attended meetings with the local people, owners and trainers at Sandgate and Deagon and is looking forward to give these stalwarts of the area some certainty for the future.