Racing Queensland set to cut jockey benefits

Racing Queensland is in disarray financially and is set to cut benefits to the jockeys, whose representatives will meet with the sunshine state governing body on Tuesday.

Australian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Paul Innes confirmed KPMG’s Ian Hall had called the meeting. It will take place in an environment where rumours of prizemoney cuts and riding fee decreases are rife.

“We are not going to hand back any benefits that we have fought for over a long period of time,” Innes said. “We are going to listen to what they have to say but we don’t want to give up anything, in particular anything to do with safety.”

It is understood that the apprentice training program has been earmarked for cuts, even though it was one of the areas to get positive feedback in the MacSporran report into greyhound racing and Racing Queensland.

Racing Queensland is said to have a $20 million blackhole in its budget and KPMG runs the body after the government dismissed chief executive Darren Condon following the greyhound live-baiting scandal.

It also sacked integrity officer Wade Birch this week after both he and Condon were given show cause notices.

While both were expecting to be removed the process has been clumsy with one of the removed executives learning in the press, because of leaks from the government. There is still no clarity on their final payouts and it is likely to end in court.

There is no board at Racing Queensland, leaving the intellectual property within the organisation at an all-time low. KPMG is reportedly being paid $20,000 a week to run the racing body with little industry knowledge.

It is believed wagering and television contracts are close to being breached after cuts that have been made to the racing program.

Story courtesy Chris Roots
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