By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL
A warm welcome to each and every one of our readers to 2022.
RQ provides record-breaking returns
Following the Annual Meeting at Eagle Farm in late 2021, RQ announced it had recorded a $6.2 million normalised consolidated profit versus $4.3 million in FY20.
Normalised revenue grew to a record $336 million, an increase of 19.2%, while returns to participants reached $271 million, which was well above the organisation’s $250 million target, an increase of 22%.
Following record-breaking returns to participants in FY21, more than $15 million in additional funding will be delivered in the New Year after the recent prizemoney announcement.
Over the course of FY21, wagering on Queensland racing product increased by 29.7%, enjoying strong turnover growth across all three codes to a record-high of $6.2 billion, with $1.4 billion thanks to the greyhound code (+35.4%).
To read the full report, visit the Racing Queensland’s website.
New independent Racing Appeals Panel
In December, Racing Minister Grace Grace announced that a new independent Racing Appeals Panel would be established in 2022, and will replace all current Queensland Racing Integrity Commission internal reviews and the majority of QCAT appeals.
Under the new model:
- Applications for review must be lodged within three business days;
- The majority of decisions will be reviewed within seven business days;
- In more serious cases, the Panel will finalise its review within 20 business days;
- Appeals to QCAT can only be made where the penalty imposed by the stewards is three months or more, and will be limited to the severity of the penalty;
- There will need to be exceptional circumstances for QCAT to grant a stay; and
- Further consultation will immediately commence with industry stakeholders.
We will ensure to keep you updated as more progress comes to hand throughout the year.
Queensland Flame success
December’s inaugural Listed TAB Queensland Flame, hosted at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club, proved a brilliant evening of racing for all in attendance.
The Queensland Flame concept was developed as Queensland’s qualifying race for the first ever edition of the $1.145 million TAB Phoenix in Melbourne, and it brought together some of our most promising chasers to compete for the slot.
Congratulations to Spotted Elk and trainer Graham Hall on their triumph and qualification for the new million-dollar feature.
The race also featured both an ownership and community partnership initiative, giving eight competition winners and local community clubs respectively the chance to partner a greyhound in the race, with up to $20,000 on offer if our representative is successful down south.
This aspect of the Queensland Flame added to the success of the evening, and it was great to see so many representatives in attendance for the race – many for the first time at the track cheering home their chaser.
Vaccinations for Queensland participants
It is now mandatory for anyone attending a Queensland race meeting to be fully vaccinated.
As of December 17, 2021, 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.
Venue restrictions come into effect three hours prior to the first race at any meeting and conclude two hours after the last.
I wanted to provide a quick update on a number of infrastructure projects taking place across the state.
There has been a delay in Bundaberg track works – and some communication will be necessary to trainers so that they build up kennel numbers over the next six months.
Meanwhile, Rockhampton and Ipswich kennel block expansions have been recently completed, meaning both are now able to stage 12-race programs.
Grading procedures review
Finally, 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.