Racing Queensland faces two-year loss of $40m   Leave a comment

Racing Queensland faces two-year loss of $40m

Queensland Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne. ‘There are some tough realities to f

Queensland Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne. ‘There are some tough realities to face.’ Picture: Jack Tran. Source: News Corp Australia

Racing Queensland is facing a $40 million loss in back-to-back financial years, projections forcing expenditure to be reined in across the three racing codes.

Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne and Racing Queensland acting chief executive Ian Hall released details regarding the scale of the task facing the industry yesterday.

Racing Queensland posted a $12m loss in 2014-15 and was forecasting a deficit of $28m in 2015-16.

“There are some tough realities to face and some tough decisions to be made,” Byrne said. “We all want to see racing thrive and grow in this state, but Racing Queensland can’t do that if it goes on haemorrhaging funds.

“The problem is stark — revenue assumptions from the past were wrong. The finances of Racing Queensland had a foundation built on rivers of gold that didn’t exist.”

Byrne declared there would be broad consultation on Racing Queensland’s plan to secure a sustainable future.

“Finding solutions will take time and it will require robust and realistic discussions,” the minister said. “It will be difficult, but it has to be done. We will also be consulting with staff from Racing Queensland, the Office of Racing, as well as union representatives.

“Our focus now is on the future and what can be achieved if all stakeholders work together. There is no other choice. Laying the facts on the table is the first step. If we commit to this process we can ensure a sustainable future for Racing Queensland and help return public confidence to what has always been a proud, ­vibrant and economically important industry for Queensland.”

Hall said Racing Queensland would soon begin consultation within the industry. “We’ll be seeking input from the racing industry regarding making immediate savings to ensure we get racing back on a sustainable footing for the long term,” he said.

“To do this, we’ll be under­taking extensive consultation over the next two months to make sure the views of all stakeholders are heard — and that includes clubs, trainers, jockeys, drivers, owners and breeders. There will also be opportunities for individuals to have their say.”

Greyhound racing’s live-baiting furore precipitated sackings of key personnel as well as the dismissal of boards.

The acting chief executive said the losses, one real and one projected, were untenable for the viability of Racing Queensland and the Queensland racing industry as a whole.

“Since the end of the financial year, we’ve worked hard to make efficiencies,” the KPMG accountant turned racing administrator said. “We have found savings of $6m, but that is clearly not enough. Over the past five years, revenue has increased by only 20 per cent, while direct operating expenditure has increased by 32 per cent.’’

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Posted July 18, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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