Racing industry prepares to strike over 'massive' tax issue
SUNSHINE Coast's leading horse trainer Stuart Kendrick has emphasised just how vast the flow-on effects of a government tax are on the racing industry as it prepares to strike on Saturday.
While the plight of owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders is at the forefront of the action, Kendrick said the issue was even more far reaching and threatened the livelihoods of those at the coalface.
The Corbould Park-based trainer was particularly fearful if a solution to the distribution of revenue from the recently introduced 15 per cent Point of Consumption Tax wasn't agreed on soon, owners would be enticed south as they chased better prizemoney and rebates.
"Not everybody in racing is a billionaire or a sheikh. A lot of these guys involved here rely on this as their income and business and without horses being trained here, obviously we don't need as many staff and we can't afford to keep as many staff," he said.
"If they (owners) can't afford to have horses in work, obviously they'll look at putting them elsewhere, so we need the government now to look and see how many jobs this does affect.
"It's not just (an issue) for my staff here at 3am every morning and working at that level, but through to the guys that supply the feed, have spelling farms - even truck drivers that take horses to the races.
"It's massive and it just filters right into everything."
Racing Queensland confirmed on Wednesday that industrial action by an alliance of thoroughbred bodies had resulted in TAB race meetings scheduled for this Saturday being abandoned.
If a solution isn't found soon, the industry has planned to again strike on Melbourne Cup Day across Queensland, including at Corbould Park.
Kendrick said normally he would've nominated a bevy of horses to race in Brisbane and at the Gold Coast this weekend but had chosen to forego potential income for the greater cause.
Fellow Corbould Park trainer Garnett Taylor said the effects of the prizemoney disparity were very real, with owners having approached him in the past about sending horses to other trainers down south.
"None have actually done it but a lot have talked about it," he said.