Country racing in North West Queensland could get a $9.4 million cash injection over four years under a re-elected Labor Government in a massive boost for local race clubs, jobs and local economies.
Speaking on Melbourne Cup day Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the extra funds were part of a $70 million statewide country racing package.
“This is a direct $9.4 million investment in the North West Queensland racing industry, and in local jobs and local economies,” the Premier said.
“As country racegoers enjoy today's Melbourne Cup, I can't think of a better time to support the Queensland country racing industry.”
The Premier said although some country race clubs might only race once or twice a year these race days were huge social occasions for local communities.
“That’s why we’re going to be the first government in Queensland history to treat country racing as a community service obligation,” he said.
"Our $70 million investment will not only maintain existing prize money levels, it will also enable us to deliver increased prize money in the years ahead.”
ALP candidate for Traeger Danielle Slade welcomed the news as she attended the Melbourne Cup day races in Mount Isa.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs maintenance,” Ms Slade said.
“It will help the jockeys, trainers, everyone involved.”
Ms Slade said 850,000 people attended race meetings in Queensland each year and 70% of them were in country areas.
“Racing in Mount Isa is big on the social scene for us so I’m happy for Mount Isa,” she said.