LNP Shadow Racing Minister John-Paul Langbroek has said the racing industry has completely lost confidence in the Palaszczuk Labor Government following reports of a state-wide strike planned for Cox Plate Day and Melbourne Cup Day.
Mr Langbroek said Labor Treasurer Jackie Trad’s refusal to provide the industry with guaranteed income from the nation’s highest Point of Consumption Tax is the straw that has broken the camel’s back.
“Talks of a state-wide strike on Cox Plate Day and Melbourne Cup Day is a desperate cry for help from an industry that contributes around $1.2 billion to the economy, but has received next to nothing in return from Labor,” he said.
“Racing stakeholders have been begging Labor to provide guaranteed income to the industry from the Point of Consumption Tax, which isn’t a hard ask since it’s done in Victoria and New South Wales which have significantly lower Point of Consumption Taxes.
“Even organisations like the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Queensland have come out swinging earlier this week saying “the decision has made Queensland even less competitive and will undoubtedly lead to a downturn in jobs across the State”.
“While the tax will return $70 million in the first year, the only commitment Labor has made to the industry is to pay off some debts and provide a one-off infrastructure grant for harness and greyhound racing, with nothing for thoroughbreds.
“It isn’t hard to see why owners and trainers feel they need to take drastic action.”
Mr Langbroek said action from the industry sent a clear message to the Labor Government, particularly Treasurer Jackie Trad, that the industry has had enough of being used as a cash cow.
“Racing is an industry that puts food on the table for so many Queenslanders who are grass-roots participants, and Labor is bleeding them dry,” he said.
“Labor has an abysmal track record when it comes to racing, from refusing to provide an estimated completion date for our premier race track, Eagle Farm, to failing to invest in racing infrastructure including long awaited safety improvements to existing infrastructure on the Gold Coast.
“The racing industry is sick of being treated with contempt by a government that is happy to take income from them, but refuses to reinvest into the industry.
“You can only get out what you put in.”