The ATA welcomes the clarity provided by the decision of the Federal Court on the race fields legislation product fee issue.
The ATA strongly urges all State racing administrations and the Australian Racing Board, as a matter of importance and priority to seek Federal Government support through legislation to enact a National Product fee for all operators using race fields as part of their business operations.
The Federal Court decision provides State Racing Administrations and the ARB with a unique opportunity to ensure that the Australian Racing Industry has a solid and secure funding base for the future, and most importantly for the people that matter - the owners, trainers and their staff, employees, jockeys and breeders - whose livelihoods are so dependent on a stable and securely funded industry.
Unlike many comparable sports, thoroughbred racing has been severely hamstrung by the absence of a properly constituted national decision making body that can provide the leadership and vision that it so desperately needed to meet the relentless competition and challenge from its competitors.
The race fields and product fee issue has demonstrated the vulnerability of the racing industry through its lack of unity and cohesion. The state by state approach has hampered the racing industry for too long and has been exposed through the prosperity that is being enjoyed by many other comparable sports who are governed and administered through a national structure.