After years of neglect by various Governments and with the current negotiations reaching a standstill with no sign of a positive resolution, the move to industrial action by the racing participants of Qld is unfortunately now unavoidable. All participants in Qld will stand-down on Sat October 27th (Cox Plate Day) for meetings scheduled at Doomben, Gold Coast, Toowoomba & Townsville, and then again on Tuesday 6th of November (Melbourne Cup Day) across all TAB meetings. At this stage we will keep our commitment to allow the non-TAB meeting on both these days to proceed.
This action has the full support of the 4 industry bodies comprising Trainers, Jockeys, Breeders & Owners and comes after a deadline yesterday for the Government failed to deliver the requested commitment to return 100% of the racing component of the Point of Consumption tax to racing. Despite claims that 100% of this new tax will be returned to racing, the clear fact is none of this will be returned to thoroughbred racing this year. Prize-money is our wages. Ten years ago our people were receiving 75% of what NSW racing delivered in Prize-money and now Queensland sits at 45%, and as all the other states embrace this new betting tax this gap will only widen further.
The significant financial investment from this new “betting tax” given by the other States into their racing industries, is in stark contrast to what is shown in Queensland and whilst this industrial action is certainly not the industry participants preferred response, the Governments lack of understanding of the importance of the current situation in Queensland, leaves us with no alternative.