John Alducci (ATA, Strategy Manager) and I journeyed to Queensland in late January, spending two days meeting with representatives from a number of key racing industry bodies.
We firstly caught up with the Racing Queensland (RQ) CEO, Dr Eliot Forbes, and General Manager Racing, Mr Simon Stout. We discussed a range of subjects, including the “usual suspects” of low prizemoney and pressing infrastructure needs/updates. Dr Forbes reinforced that at this time it is still very a much a steady as she goes approach by RQ on both fronts, albeit if there can be an acceleration of plans around part or all of the high level needs in these two areas, RQ will certainly support same.
The recent Deagon strangles outbreak was also a focus of discussion, particularly the need for financial support to assist trainers who suffer significant hardship as a result of such an event. At this time, no single medium or body in Australia offers this support. It is a subject the ATA at the National level has been advancing for some time with state PRA’s. The Deagon episode yet again highlighted the need for a national, unified approach. It is something the ATA will continue to promote at peak body levels until we see the advent of an industry wide solution.
We also met with Mr Ross Barnett (Commissioner) at Queensland Integrity Racing Commission (QRIC). It is early days since the split of the functions of the “old” RQ into two bodies, and there have been a number of teething problems. We do need to all work together in a transparent manner, and consult heavily, to ensure best and efficient practices and systems result which in turn, benefits racing and participants alike. This message was clearly enunciated by and to both RQ and QRIC, hence the visit was a timely reminder that the ATA needs to be front and centre and remain engaged with these bodies.
We lastly met up with David Whimpey (CEO) and Bart Sinclair (Board Member) of the Brisbane Racing Club. Discussions centred on a number of marketing initiatives the ATA want to roll out across Queensland, including the option of running themed race events to promote:
ATA Celebrating 50 years (1967-2017);
Australian Trainers’ Trust;
Celebrating Women Trainers; and
Multicultural Diversity in the Training Ranks
We are working our way through Club preferences with the race events, together with date options - stay tuned for more on this subject shortly.
The two days spent in Brisbane were productive. Firstly with the various industry bodies. Secondly, our visit coincided with our own ATA Qld Branch meeting. This gave us the opportunity to catch up with members, and hear what is important to them. We thank Cam Partington (ATA State Executive) for his tireless work on the local front, co-ordinating meetings and ensuring these address meaningful issues, and are well represented with regular attendance by RQ & QRIC personnel.
Lastly, we want to assure the training fraternity in Queensland that the ATA, as an organisation, is extremely committed to making a meaningful contribution in ways which will benefit both our trainer participants and the industry in general, in your great state.
We look forward to our next visit to Queensland. In the meantime, should you wish to provide your feedback in writing in relation to this matter, please do so by CLICKING HERE
Alternatively, contact the office on (03) 9372-1688 should any one wish to discuss this matter with myself.