The ATA Tasmanian Branch in conjunction with the ATA Federal Office, has had several meetings and exchanged several letters of correspondence with Tasracing on the subject of funding for the Tasmanian racing industry, prize money and the extension of prize money payments from fifth to tenth placing for all night race meetings.
It has been and still remains the very strong view of the Tasmanian ATA, that the extension of prize money from fifth to tenth placing for night racing, should be funded out of a SEPARATE and new allocation of funds by Tasracing and NOT through a redistribution of prize money from existing races or through a reduction of prize money already allocated for first, second or third place getters.
The Tasmanian ATA is also equally of the strong view that allocating additional funding to extend the night racing prize money is essential to compensate for the significant additional costs of night racing expenses which are borne by owners and trainers.
These additional costs of night racing, when combined with the continuing escalation of the overall costs of racing, far exceed the returns to industry participants through prize money which in relative terms in Tasmania have actually experienced a decline over a prolonged period of time.
We have continually pointed out to Tasracing that trainers and owners can no longer afford to keep absorbing these steep increases in the costs of racing while prize money levels continue to stagnate.
It is our view that the additional funding needed to extend night racing prize money does not represent a substantial amount and CAN be found by Tasracing without any tampering of, or redistribution of prize money for existing races.
The Tasmanian ATA has also reminded Tasracing of its responsibilities as the governing body for Tasmanian racing, to ensure the viability of the racing industry for all participants. In the present environment, where the costs of racing continue to escalate and greatly outweigh returns to participants, the exodus of owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders will continue and ultimately threaten the survival of thoroughbred racing in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian ATA awaits a response from Tasracing to our most recent submission.