There won’t be any TAB thoroughbred racing in Queensland on Saturday but the spring carnival will go ahead after a funding boost was approved by the state government.
Representatives of the Thoroughbred Alliance met with Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe in Brisbane on Friday in an attempt to prevent strike action halting the state’s Melbourne Cup day events.
An extra $26 million will be added to the state’s prize pool for thoroughbred TAB meetings under the new agreement, broken up into an initial $18 million injection and a further $8 million in six months.
The agreement has come too late to salvage Saturday’s races at Brisbane’s Doomben, Gold Coast, Townsville and Toowoomba, which were cancelled after trainers, owners, jockeys and breeders began striking over the way race meetings are funded.
Alliance spokesman Cameron Partington said the new deal would however avoid any further cancellations.
“We’re going racing on Melbourne Cup day and going forward we’ve got another $18 million from the first of November,” Mr Partington told reporters.
“We’ve got another $8 million in six months’ time which is great for the industry.”
The funding agreement is conditional on further discussions between the alliance and the government being held.
There will also have to be industry reforms such as the creation of more TAB events in Queensland.
Mr Hinchliffe has refused to confirm if the extra funds will be solely drawn from a $70 million windfall the government is poised to receive from a new 15 per cent tax on wagering in the state.
He said Friday’s agreement was about ensuring the creation of a sustainable thoroughbred racing industry in Queensland.
The state’s sole metropolitan race meet for Sunday will go ahead on the Sunshine Coast.