Queensland prize money boost promised

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 12:27pm

Queensland's prize money levels will rise with a move for the government to fully fund all country non-TAB meetings.

The Labor government has made an election promise to allocate $17.5 million per year for the next four years to fund country racing.

Racing Queensland welcomed the election commitment which would be more than three times the current level of country support.

A country racing support package was introduced two years ago to provide $21 million over four years but it only partially funded non-TAB meetings.

RQ chief executive Eliot Forbes said the election commitment meant $70 million over four years and would provide security for country racing.

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

Forbes said with non-TAB racing fully funded, $8 million to $10 million per year could be redirected from the RQ budget back into industry support and prize money for TAB races.

"The total package would allow us to redirect funds from non-commercially viable operations into areas that will drive wagering, improve the racing product, and boost returns for all," he said.

– AAP

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