Saturday, 14 July 2012
: Queensland Racing Minister Steve Dickson and Racing Queensland Limited chairman Kevin Dixon have announced three key initiatives to help rejuvenate country racing in Queensland.
Three new country racing programs, the Showcase Country Series, Celebrate Country Series and Sustain Country Series, will begin on September 1.
Mr Dickson said the announcement was a part of the LNP's commitment to deliver an additional $4 million over four years to help rebuild country racing.
“I am determined to build a sustainable future for Queensland country racing, and these new regionally focused meeting programs form a big part of this commitment,” Mr Dickson said.
“This initiative will provide a much needed boost to country racing, allowing clubs to attract stronger race fields and entice more patrons to the track.”
Kevin Dixon said that the Showcase Country Series will be broadcast on the Sky Racing Network and have TAB coverage.
“We know prizemoney is the lifeblood of the industry, which is why each race meeting in the Showcase Country Series will have a feature race branded 'The Showcase', worth a minimum of $20,000,” he said.
“Where possible, race meetings falling on public holiday weekends have been selected to maximise the race club's ability to attract local community interest and build attendances.”
Seven race meetings earmarked for inclusion in this series include:
Kilcoy - October 1, 2012
Roma - November 17, 2012
Innisfail - January 1, 2013
Beaudesert - January 28, 2013
Goondiwindi - April 1, 2013
Beaudesert - April 25, 2013
Dalby - May 5, 2013
Mr Dixon said the second series Celebrate Country Series, will see country clubs granted an additional race meeting.
“This series will include an additional race worth $10,000 named 'The Celebration' and will also see the Alpha Jockey Club reinstated to the non-TAB schedule,” he said.
Race clubs earmarked currently include:
Bell; Tambo; Esk; Mareeba; Herbert River; Alpha; Gladstone.
The third program Sustain Country Series, will be made up of additional country race meetings committed as part of the Newman Government's election promise to rebuild racing across Queensland.
These race meetings will be added to the program during the 2012 year at the recommendation of the Country Racing Committee. The race meetings will be strategically placed to support and sustain country communities with a particular focus on allowing racing to support its communities.
The scheduling of these race meetings will give consideration to the following;
• Weather or unpredictable reasons that have significantly disrupted community race schedules
• Community charity events etc. which would be significantly boosted from an added meeting
• Community achievements and milestones that would benefit from an added meeting.