KAP Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter and Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth have declared the preservation of country racing to be one of KAP’s major priorities in the new parliamentary year.
The northern crossbenchers today fired a signal flare to Government insisting that Country Racing, which has always been the lifeblood of regional Queensland, must remain in its current form.
Mr Katter said KAP support for the regional racing industry will be unflinching, especially in the wake of the ‘Racing Integrity Bill 2015’, introduced to parliament late last year.
“The implementation of the recommendations in the ‘Tracking to Sustainability’ report will have dire consequences right across the racing industry,” Mr Katter said.
“If we see the government continue to tear apart country racing and the structure of racing itself, it is going to be on for young and old,” he said.
Mr Katter’s main concerns regarded the culling of country race meets and the lack of industry input in the proposed board structure.
“We need to have competent leaders who determine the direction of our industry, through a process of genuine engagement, with participants and stakeholders.”
“It is my belief that if this bill is passed this will simply not happen,” he said.
KAP member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said KAP is committed to bringing those with a knowledge of the industry back to the table, to determine the direction that racing community is to take into the future.
“We should not be in a situation where boards are made up primarily of people with no knowledge of the industry,” he said.
Mr Knuth said country racing plays a vital role in regional economies and should be encouraged not destroyed.
“There has been no consideration of the greater economic activity that is generated as a result of these country race meetings or their social importance,” Mr Knuth said.
“Country races are completely different to those in a metropolitan area, they bring communities to come together.”
“The prize money at Magic Millions race day is the amount it costs to fund all of country racing in Queensland, for a whole year – how can we let something with such a little cost just fall apart? ” he said.