Melbourne Cup meet will run without horses
A PLANNED industry strike on Melbourne Cup Day at Corbould Park will go ahead unless the Queensland Government came to the table and improved the percentage return to clubs from TAB takings, Sunshine Coast Turf Club chairman Peter Boyce has warned.
The turf club has added its signature to a petition calling for a fairer distribution of the revenue which has plunged to just 45 per cent of that returned to the industry by the NSW Government to racing clubs in that state.
Mr Boyce said the Sunshine Coast was losing jockeys, trainers and horses to events in northern NSW with Lismore offering $30,000 a race prizemoney compared with $14,000 for maidens at Corbould Park and $16,000 for everything else.
Sunshine Coast Turf Club general manager John Miller was preparing a suite of other entertainment for next Tuesday which, as a TAB meeting, was subject to planned industry-wide boycotts.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said yesterday the government had worked to develop avenues to support increased prize money in order to avoid strikes this Saturday.
"Unfortunately we haven't been able to avert Saturday's planned action, but that doesn't mean we're not working closely with industry," he said.
"Queensland's racing industry employs or engages more than 41,800 people, and we want to see it thrive and prosper."