Grace Grace explains racing finances
IPSWICH Turf Club will know by well before next year's Ipswich Cup what the fate of the club's multi-million dollar infrastructure project.
The QT has asked Racing Minister Grace Grace a suite of questions about the financial state of the industry and one related to the time frame on Racing Queensland's infrastructure plans.
Ms Grace said the final date the plan must be submitted by Racing Queensland is in March, 2017, months before the Ipswich Cup.
"This doesn't preclude infrastructure projects beginning prior to this date," Ms Grace said.
"They must engage with stakeholders in the formation of this infrastructure plan and do what is best for the entire industry across all three codes of racing."
Ipswich's $14 million project revolves around placing a tunnel under the track, relocating race day stalls and to the infield and freeing up the land facing Brisbane Rd for commercial redevelopment, along with a relocation of Ipswich greyhounds.
The Racing Minister confirmed $53.125 million was currently in the Racing Infrastructure Fund (RIF) which included $21.29 million rolled over from the old infrastructure fund.
She said the previous LNP government diverted $22.4 million from the former Labor government's $110 million racing infrastructure fund into consolidated revenue.
Ms Grace said $12 million had been spent from the RIF on the Eagle Farm development.
The budget shows that $11.384 million will be spent on racing infrastructure in 2016/17 but Ms Grace added that was a normal budget accounting measure and the final amount spent would ultimately be a matter for Racing Queensland as they devise their infrastructure strategy.
The QT understands, with regard to the UBET wagering agreement, that two payments of $37.5 million on July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016 have been made and that four payments of $37.5 million had been promised - ie $150 million.
"The terms of the agreement and the payment of Racing Infrastructure Fund arrangement remains unchanged as established by the previous government," Ms Grace said.
"The total amount that will be paid from the exclusive wagering licence fee is $92.531 million, in four instalments - two of which have been paid with two outstanding on July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2023."
The QT understands $50 million was put back in consolidated revenue by the previous government, as one of the conditions of the UBET wagering agreement.
A total of $7.5million was handed back after the government chose not to go ahead with virtual racing
Ms Grace said that was a condition of the UBET wagering agreement entered into by the previous government.
"Virtual Racing and its licencing is a matter for the office of Gaming Regulation. Virtual racing is currently licenced in Queensland but not by Tatts group," she said.
The QT asked what infrastructure spending from the RIF, or former fund, had the current government made on racing infrastructure. We were told that after the greyhound live baiting scandal, racing infrastructure spending was placed on hold apart from the Eagle Farm redevelopment.
Ms Grace said the government was not relying on UBET or the RIF to fund the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission
She confirmed the state had underwritten Racing Queensland by $32 million in 2015/2016 and a further $10 Million for the year 2016/2017 through funds delivered through the normal State budgetary process.