On the eve of one of Australia and New South Wales' biggest race meetings, Queensland Racing has been thrown into a crisis involving integrity, taxation, and a lack of action from Queensland Labor.
The Labor Government is on notice after Aquis Farm, Queensland racing's biggest single investor in racing, announced that they will be bowing out of racing in the state due to ongoing integrity issues.
LNP Shadow Minister for Racing John-Paul Langbroek said Aquis' decision is a tell-tale sign that the industry has well and truly lost confidence in the Labor Government.
"Labor has continued to sweep integrity issues under the rug, and as a result, we're seeing a major breeder and sponsor walk away from an industry that is crippled by mismanagement," he said.
"This is unprecedented in Australian racing.
"The racing industry, which contributes $1.2 billion to our economy, is on its knees.
"I have spoken time and time again in Parliament about issues with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), but all we have heard from Annastacia Palaszczuk and Stirling Hinchliffe is radio silence."
Mr. Langbroek called on the Labor Government to get its head out of the sand and fix the issue.
"All we've seen from this Labor Government is a see-no, hear-no, do-no approach, and it's driving racing participants like Aquis out of Queensland," he said.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk has to step in to stop Queensland Racing from being the pariah of Australian racing.
"We've seen Reg Kay, a greyhound trainer who banned for life, have his disqualification overturned; we've seen a judging farce at Toowoomba last weekend; and we've seen a two-year-old and her father suffer significant injuries after they were hit by a boom arm of a pace car at Redcliffe Harness Racing Club.
"Racing in Queensland is struggling to compete with states likes Victoria and New South Wales which have a significantly lower Point of Consumption Tax, better deals when it comes to prizemoney, and a system which takes integrity seriously.
"The LNP will continue to fight to bring confidence back into the racing in industry in Queensland – you bet we will!"