There's Doom And Gloom and Fear and Anxiety......Cone of Silence from the powers that be.... according to Nathan Exelby ....although whatever became of "No news is good News"
Pretty strange that Tatts CEO Robbie Cook can't get past the minders to have a sit down with racing minister the Hon.Byrne
In the home delivery edition of the CM there's a pic of the bare dirt in the home stretch of EF right opposite the grandstand.
Racing Queensland’s cone of silence as industry negotiates turbulent waters
• by: Nathan Exelby @xlbnathan_cmail
• From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
• June 27, 2015 3:07PM
Man down: Queensland racing’s prized asset, Eagle Farm racetrack, is still out of action. Pictu Mark Cranitch Source: News Corp Australia
CONFIRMATION of the previously established QTIS scheme at the weekend was a welcome ray of sunshine in a month of uncertainty for Queensland racing.
But Racing Minister Bill Byrne and interim Racing Queensland chief executive Ian Hall need to keep the answers coming to quell a growing sense of anxiety.
Racing Minister Bill Byrne. Source: News Corp Australia
These are turbulent times and changing times in Australian racing.
NSW has just secured a lucrative tax concession, which is sure to attract the attention of Queensland-based owners sniffing for bigger dollars across the border.
Meanwhile, Victoria is testing the waters with a historic free-to-air television joint venture.
In Queensland, our administration has been sacked, our best track has been on the sidelines for 12 months and the industry has been told it is broke.
With Darren Condon set to get his marching orders this week and no board members left, Racing Queensland has become a cone of silence.
And the lack of answers is infuriating industry participants.
Eagle Farm trainers, in particular, remain in limbo.
When will the tunnels be approved? Will they be approved?
Eagle Farm is the industry’s most important asset and its ongoing absence just adds to the black hole Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk so readily told the world about this month.
Byrne may have provided a public assurance there is nothing to fear, but more than three weeks have passed since the industry was told it has an $11 million black hole this year and a projected $21 million deficit for 2015-16.
Conveniently for those happy to see the former board’s reputation muddied, there has been no context given to the figures.
No notification of how many millions of dollars have been spent on the greyhound debacle, much of which will be returned to the industry via the levy imposed on the greyhound -industry.
No mention of the recoupable funds poured into as-yet unapproved infrastructure projects and no discussion of money that may still be owing to the industry from wagering providers.
No context either on how the $21 million forecast deficit for 2015-16 had been arrived at, given the previous board had not even sat for its annual budget meeting.
Yet one RQ official told The Sunday Mail this week that “the 11 and 21 are the only figures we are happy to have out there at the moment”.
No wonder there is a very real sense of fear and frustration among participants.
Naturally, this anxiety has led to widespread speculation that cuts will be coming.
To a man at Doomben on Saturday, trainers all said “we know nothing. Just let us know what is happening”.
While the greyhounds and infrastructure spending have contributed to this year’s black hole, the ongoing concern is the downturn in wagering.
This year’s tally was not helped when Tatts Group took an age to launch its UBET brand, but now it is up and active, forecasts have about 6 per cent growth next financial year.
With Queensland’s biggest cash cow Eagle Farm still sitting dormant, waiting for a signature on a piece of paper, wagering turnover will not improve any time soon.
There is a very real sense of fear and frustration among the industry’s participants. Pictu Jono Searle Source: News Corp Australia
And that will only worsen as the active southeast Queensland tracks continue to be exposed to extreme pressure playing “a man down”.
Attempts to seek an update on the Eagle Farm loan approval received a vague response from the Minister’s office on Saturday.
“Upon receipt of additional information from Racing Queensland in respect of the $12 million at the BRC, the government is currently considering the documentation,” a representative for the Minister said.
And what of the Virtual Racing joint venture between Tatts and RQ? Estimates had the initiative delivering $15-20 million to the industry in its first year, which was originally thought to be 2015-16.
But there has been no official word on whether Virtual Racing has been approved or will be approved at all.
Tatts Group has remained silent since the RQ board was lopped down a month ago, but it is understood chief executive Robbie Cooke has so far failed in all attempts to secure a meeting with the Minister and Premier.http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/superracing/racing-queenslands-cone-of-silence-as-industry-negotiates-turbulent-waters/story-fnii0njy-1227418003694