The clubs that will be most affected by a proposed strike in Queensland racing have come out in support of a protest against government treatment of the racing industry.
The Brisbane Racing Club and Gold Coast Turf Club say that while the protest will impact on them they have to look at the bigger picture.
Trainers, jockeys, owners, and breeders are threatening strike action on Cox Plate day (October 27) and Melbourne Cup day (November 6) at the Doomben, Gold Coast and Toowoomba meetings.
BRC vice chairman Richard Morrison said the club supported the actions of stakeholders trying for a fairer return from a point of consumption tax on the racing industry.
“We understand the frustration of industry stakeholders as our board members are all racehorse owners. And we share in that frustration,” he said. “Everyone involved in the industry has been disappointed with the decision on the POC tax. For thoroughbred racing, which generates 75 per cent of revenue, there is minimal benefit from the tax.”
He said jockeys, trainers and owners are at the coalface of the industry and they are frustrated and disappointed. The BRC has always maintained that a tax raised from an industry, particularly one that generates so many jobs for this state, should be used to help to grow and sustain the industry,” Morrison said.
The GCTC chairman Brett Cook said the industry had done it tough over the past 10 to 15 years, with all Queensland clubs slowly having their existing and potential revenue streams reduced by external decision makers.
“There is a massive lack of investment, commitment and understanding of what this industry is about, what it supports,” he said. “Now, we have a new tax being introduced which is going to generate millions in revenue, yet the government continues to snub the very industry it’s capitalising on.”
“This is the industry that provides all the jobs and generates millions of dollars in tourism each year but the government just expects the industry to cop it.
“I have seen changes over the years of government and Racing Queensland boards and some volatile situations along with that, however this is by far the most heated and unhappy I have seen people in the industry and the pleasing part now is that they are all united together.”
A meeting early this week will decide if Townsville joins any strike action.