ATA Queensland Branch – Members Update / Queensland / 08 Mar, 2012


The ATA followed up our quarterly members meeting by taking our issues directly to Racing Queensland. Trainers Pat Duff, Barry Baldwin, Alan Bailey, Kelly Schweida, Liam Birchley, Dennis Heinemann and Toby Edmonds along with ATA Qld Co-ordinator Cameron Partington, met with Chairman Bob Bentley, Chief Steward Wade Birch, Director of Integrity Operations Jamie Orchard, Director of Product Development Paul Brennan and other members of the Racing Qld team to discuss some of the issues currently facing our members.

Issues covered at the meeting include Prize-money, Vet Certificates, Rating Points, Barrier Trial Scratching fees, weights at the Provincials, refreshments for strappers on race-day, debt recovery assistance, fines and penalties, track preparation, financial assistance to BRC and Work-Cover.

For a detailed report of the outcomes from the meeting please CLICK HERE or email Cameron ( for a copy.

Overall the trainers were satisfied with some of the outcomes and appreciative of the time given by Racing Qld. We look forward to this process being an ongoing way for the trainers of Qld to have an open communication with RQ and ensure that our concerns and issues are dealt with in a professional and timely manner. Our next ATA meeting will be in May.

A meeting was held in February with the current Minister for Racing Mr Tim Mulherin. A small contingent of trainers met with the Minister in what was a very beneficial discussion on the current situation of our industry. No matter what the outcome of the pending election, having a strong relationship with both sides of the political fence can only be of benefit to us all.


The subject of Work-cover continues, and recent meetings between the ATA, RQ and Work-Cover Qld have progressed well and we are now ready to implement a new way of funding trainers premiums. After much consultation and discussion, and investigating different methods, all parties now feel a viable and equitable process has been determined. In brief each trainer will still be responsible for a portion of their original premium, but the majority of the premium will be funded via the collection of a new fee per starter by Racing Qld. The major benefit here is that if a trainer incurs claims on his policy, Work-Cover can only apply increases on a small percentage of the premium. As we all well know accidents and injury can happen at any time and often are not due to poor management or unsafe work practices.

Having a level of protection over trainers premiums, but still offering the benefit of reducing premiums to trainers who eliminate or minimize claims, appears the fairest way to look after all industry participants. All trainers will pay a set yearly amount at the time of licence renewal, along with a portion of their original premium and then a fee for each starter. One of the major considerations for all parties in adopting this new process was to alleviate the financial burden currently being felt by trainers with claims on their policy’s, who have seen their premiums escalate to levels that are jeopardising their sustainability in the industry.

No trainer is immune to the risk of this claims occurring. So knowing there is a system in place to minimize the financial hardship that potentially they can cause, offers all trainers in Queensland some comfort and peace of mind at a time when all expenses continue to rise . Work-Cover has asked for a commitment from trainers to assist in the placement and rehabilitation of injured staff back into the work-force. Some of the larger trainers are in the best position to do this, and it’s pleasing to see the support already given to this initiative by our larger trainers. If you have any questions or concerns on the implementation of the new Work-Cover premium calculation, please contact us at any time.


The 2012 Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal has been won for the month of February by Robert Heathcote.

It was a perfect way for Rob to bank his first Group 1, with one of his favourite horses WOORIM winning the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. Coming from last on the turn, the 6yo son of Show A Heart unleashed one of his trademark finishing bursts to grab the victory right at the post.
The victory gave WOORIM his 10th win from 36 starts and pushed him over the $1 million in prize-money. Rob and jockey Damian Browne knew the task was going to be tough, coming from the back to run down the best sprinters over what they thought might just be a little too short, but they forgot to tell WOORIM. Finishing 3rd in a blanket finish was a fantastic effort by Facile Tigre for Jason McLachlan.

The 12 monthly winners will be in the running for the 2012 Wayne Wilson Medal. The Medal is proudly promoted by the ATA and sponsored by Ambassador Travel and Racetree, with the winner receiving an all inclusive trip for two to the 2012 Cox Plate along with of course, the Wayne Wilson Medal. Thanks once again to our sponsors and

The Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal 2011-12

August : Tony Gollan, TEMPLE OF BOOM winning the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Hcp at Flemington

September : Robert Heathcote, BUFFERING and WOORIM winning at Mooney Valley

October : Brian Wakefield, NUPTSE winning at Rosehill

November : Jason McLachan, FACILE TIGRE winning the Listed Always Welcome Stakes at Flemington

December : David Lawlor, winning Sat Metro Double at Eagle Farm inc Listed Phelan Ready Stakes

January : Peter Balzen, winning the 3yo Magic Millions Guineas with PUNCH ON.

February : Robert Heathcote
, WOORIM winning the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield.


One of the major benefits of being a member of the ATA is having a support network to go to if you have problems or concerns. We can’t solve them all, but we will take your issue on board and try and negotiate on your behalf where we can. Whatever the problem contact us and we will at the least, point you in the right direction. If you are not a member yet, now is the right time to join.

Call Cameron Partington on 0433-329-395 or email for any further information about the Queensland Branch of the Australian Trainers Association.