Pivotal stage for new Qld HQ

By Racing Qld Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL

I would like to start by touching on the progression of the Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre.

The project is now open for public consultation phase, which is the final phase before the Minister for Planning decides if the project should proceed under the Ministerial Infrastructure Designation process.

This is a pivotal stage in the progression of the GBGC project and provides the greyhound industry and other interested parties with an opportunity to have their voices heard by making a submission in support of what will be a world-leading greyhound racing venue.

Racing Queensland encourages all industry participants to consider making a submission before the February 11 deadline.

The project has a number of community benefits, with 1000 jobs created in construction, as well as ongoing employment with the development of various recreational facilities.

Currently, the Queensland greyhound code contributes more than $140 million to the state’s economy on an annual basis.

I would also like to reiterate that the facility will have animal care at the centre of its design and construction, with a new standard for greyhound racing to be set in Queensland.

You can visit https://haveyoursaygbgc.com.au for more information on the project and its benefits, and to make a submission as a part of the public consultation.

TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival

The third iteration of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival continues to go from strength-to-strength, with a number of the state’s best chasers lighting up the Albion Park track.

NSW raider Jungle Deuce continued his love affair with the Sunshine State, claiming the Group 2 Golden Sands in early January, which this year was run for $113,000 following RQ’s recent prizemoney boost.

The unique Group 3 Golden Ticket series again proved a highly-debated contest, with the ever-consistent Kooringa Lucy nabbing the fastest time of the series and landing a direct passage through to this month’s feature – the $300,000 Group 1 Gold Bullion.

Following the summer, we look across to Ipswich for Australia\’s richest maiden race, the Vince Curry Memorial, which will boast an increased purse with an increase to $75,000 this year, up from $60,000 in 2021.

Prizemoney increases

As you may already be aware, Racing Queensland announced details of a $2.95 million annualised increase to general prizemoney for the Queensland greyhound code that came into effect at the start of the year.

General prizemoney at Queensland greyhound race meetings is now distributed to a standardised formula as follows:

  • First – 65%;
  • Second – 20%;
  • Third – 10%; and
  • Fourth – 5%.

The latest increases will see the minimum prizemoney level for any Queensland race rise to $2180 ($1365 to the winner), while the minimum prizemoney level at a metropolitan class 1 meeting will be $8,080 ($5,200 to the winner).

Other prizemoney dedications that have already taken effect, in addition to the general prizemoney increase are:

  • Unplaced prize money doubled from $10 to $20;
  • Appearance fees ($60 a starter) increased to $80 for events 498m to 699m and $100 for events over 700m;
  • $685,000 increase to Group races, applied across the majority of existing Group and Listed events, including:
    • Showcase events at the Golden Greys Summer Carnival and the Queensland Winter Carnival;
    • Regional Cups and local lead ins;
  • $313,000 increase to non-Group feature events; and
  • $150,000 for Queensland-bred race events, complementing the current $2 million locally bred sustainability package.

The $2.95 million increase to general prizemoney is part of a $4.6 million annualised increase to prizemoney announced in November and follows a $1.7 million increase announced in July.

To read more on this announcement and for more details, you can visit the Racing Queensland website.

Vaccinations for Queensland participants

A reminder that it is now mandatory for anyone attending a Queensland race meeting to be fully vaccinated.

Any person attending a Queensland race meeting, including patrons, participants, staff, volunteers and media, will be required to check-in via the QLD Check In App and demonstrate double vaccination status.

At the same time, capacity restrictions at Queensland race meetings were lifted, with further information available via the COVID-19 response page on the RQ website.

I would like to once again thank you all for your continued understanding and adherence to the protocols in place.

Grading procedures review

RQ recently announced its intention to undertake a holistic review of the grading procedures.

The grading procedures have not been reviewed on a total basis in over a decade, and this process will be underpinned by extensive stakeholder consultation.

I encourage all participants to partake in this important piece of work when given the opportunity to do so.

Submissions remain open until March 1, and can be directed to: gradingreview@racingqueensland.com.au

Mental Health Support Program

Finally, late last year Racing Queensland launched a Mental Health Support Program for participants for a six-month trial period.

The program offers free confidential counselling and support services provided by Benestar, with the below participants eligible to access the program’s services:

  • Queensland-based licenced trainers;
  • Queensland-based employees of licenced trainers e.g., stable hands; and
  • Harness drivers;
  • Committee members and any employees of licenced race clubs in Queensland;
  • Queensland Breeders and Owners Association direct employees; and
  • Ancillary workers such as farriers, horse breakers and trackwork riders.

To utilise the Mental Health Support Program, you can call Benestar to make an appointment on 1300 360 364 or make contact via www.benestar.com

For further information, you can contact Racing Queensland’s Senior WHS Advisor Deb Jones at djones@racingqueensland.com.au.

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