DAY AT THE RACES: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Kumbia.
DAY AT THE RACES: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Kumbia. Claudia Williams

Country racing to benefit

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk made an appearance at Flemington of the Bush following her government's commitment of $70million for country racing.

Ms Palaszczuk attended the 2017 Kumbia Races and said the $70 million country racing package would deliver increased certainty for more than 100 non-TAB racing clubs in regional Queensland.

"Some country race clubs might only race once or twice a year but these race days are huge social occasions for communities around the state,” she said.

"Our $70million investment will not only maintain existing prizemoney levels, it will also enable us to deliver increased prizemoney in the years ahead.”

The funding would be in addition to the $6million Country and Regional Capital Works Package announced earlier this year.

Minister for Racing Grace Grace accompanied the Premier to the races and said if the Labor Government was re-elected, the funding would be a boostfor country racingthroughout Queensland.

"This is fantastic because what it means is we have secured country racing ongoing,” she said.

"That is good for local clubs like Kumbia.

"We know what a fantastic social community benefit country race clubs are.

"We love them, we love going to them, we have loved being here in Kumbia today and we want them to continue because we know they have a special place in Queensland and we want to make sure our funding secures that special place in society that country racing brings.

"The government has seen the importance of country racing and so we are putting in over $70million over four years to ensure that we fully fund country racing to where it is here at the moment.

"If Racing Queensland frees up additional funds and if they get growth then they have got that extra money to plough into country non-TAB race tracks as well.”

Racing Queensland chief executive officer Dr Eliot Forbes welcomed the announcement.

"While we have seen a significant financial turnaround in the past 12months, Racing Queensland is still a loss-making organisation and we cannot become sustainable and maintain this level of non-TAB thoroughbred racing without support,” Dr Forbes said.

He said with non-TAB racing fully funded, up to $10million could be redirected back into industry support and prizemoney for TAB races.