Federal job scheme helps Qld clubs

The federal government’s JobKeeper scheme is likely to save Queensland race clubs from massive financial loss and possible closure.

Several clubs were already in financial trouble before the current coronavirus restrictions but that has been magnified in recent weeks.

An estimated 500 full-time and casual Queensland race club employees have been stood down or laid off in the past month as coronavirus restrictions take hold.

Race clubs were also facing a battle to keep paying remaining staff with income streams severely hampered.

The federal government has announced plans to pay $1500 a fortnight per employee to subsidise wages for businesses.

Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell said it would be a great benefit for clubs which were big employers in Queensland.

“It has been heartbreaking to let staff go. But this should help us keep going and retain workers,” Bell said.

“We are still going to finish well in the red but at least this gives us hope.”