Queensland Racing Industry connects for flood relief

As the full devastation of the Southeast Queensland floods became clear, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) and Racing Queensland (RQ) joined forces to contact as many racing participants as possible to see if they were safe and if they needed any assistance.

This exercise was carried out during the first week of March as the water was still receding on properties.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Shane Gillard said an outgoing call centre was quickly established, and more than 1500 calls were made to trainers and breeders in the first few days after the flood.

“The racing industry is made up of a lot of proud people who had not reached out for help, so we have contacted them to see if they needed help,” he said.

“It is important that all sectors of the industry rally together in times of need.

“The industry response has been amazing, the responses have ranged from those who needed help, those who just wanted to speak to someone and those fortunate enough who have not had any flood impacts but were keen to help others.

“Our team have been welcomed by everyone we called and have strengthened QRIC’s connection with our industry.

“We have heard of situations where greyhound kennels, horse stables and the homes of participants have gone under water in this massive rain event. For some of these people it’s the first time they’ve had to deal with a flood.

“The call out also connected people who could help others. Several participants who were high and dry, offered temporary kennel or stable space for those less fortunate.”

Commissioner Gillard said some staff ventured out and cleared out stables immediately when there was no one else to help.

“Our staff felt that they just wanted to assist in any way they could, so we set up Racing Operation Gumboot Gang to help them volunteer their time,” he said.

“We were also concerned about the welfare of animals after the flood event, and participants confirmed they had done the best they could to ensure their animals care and welfare.

“RQ is also working with clubs and the QRIC to ensure normal racing operations are restored as soon as possible with races rescheduled or relocated where possible.

This is a great example of one industry in Queensland in action.  The racing industry benefits greatly when we all come together, communicate, share information and in doing so, strengthen our industry.

“My focus into the future is on establishing clear channels of communication across the breadth of the industry to ensure that everyone remains informed and aligned with industry objectives including emerging issues,” he said.

“Everyone in the Queensland racing industry shares a common interest as we all work towards ensuring the highest level of animal care, sound integrity, safety, strong industry growth and sustainability.

“It’s about aligning everyone with those five objectives, always having them on the table so we all understand what is important. The priorities for each stakeholder group may be different, but our objectives are the same.

“I’m a strong believer that the most reliable relationships are those forged in good times. There is nothing worse than trying to instil trust and confidence in another person when you are under siege.”

“This flood event has been devastating for many people and we want to let participants know that the Commission’s ‘one industry’ approach will enhance public confidence through a visible and public approach where the industry is heading in the same direction.

“We all want the same thing for racing in Queensland and connecting our people and our vision will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to be heard and the Commission an opportunity to carry out its integrity functions with the industry, not against it,” he said.




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