July 13, 2012
Bell Race Club will receive an extra annual race meeting under a new State Government program announced today.
The meeting will be held on September 15 this year.
Race club president Col Bradley said it was excellent news for the club.
In past years there had been up to five race meetings held every year at Bell; but in recent years this had been slashed to just one.
“But we still have the same upkeep costs for the grounds,” Col said.
“We put in for one more race – that’s all we wanted – and it’s good news but we haven’t been told anything officially as yet.”
Racing Minister Steve Dickson and Racing Queensland Chairman Kevin Dixon said today three new country racing programs, the Showcase Country Series, Celebrate Country Series and Sustain Country Series, would begin on September 1.
The Showcase Country Series will be broadcast on the Sky Racing Network and have TAB coverage. Seven race meetings have been earmarked for inclusion in this series:
The- Celebrate Country Series will see seven country clubs also receive an extra meeting:
The third program, Sustain Country Series, will be made up of additional country race meetings committed as part of the LNP Government’s election promise to rebuild racing across Queensland.
These race meetings will be added to the program during the 2012 year at the recommendation of the Country Racing Committee.
A government media statement said these meetings would be “strategically placed to support and sustain country communities with a particular focus on allowing racing to support its communities”.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington welcomed today’s announcement, which she said would help rejuvenate country racing.
“Our government recognises that country racing is the lifeblood of the industry and is a huge part of the social fabric of our country towns,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Two new race meetings will be held in the Nanango Electorate – A Showcase Country Series in Kilcoy on October 1 and a Celebrate Country Series in Esk on December 22, 2012.
“This boost for racing in the Nanango Electorate will not only benefit the local community, but will bring race-goers in from all over Queensland. This will have important flow-on effects for business and tourism, as well as helping our struggling racing industry, which because of the mismanagement of the former government is on its knees.
“In particular, the increase in prize money and the fact that the race day in Kilcoy will fall on the new Queen’s Birthday long weekend in October, and in Esk on the weekend before Christmas, means the Kilcoy and Esk Race Clubs will be able to maximise local community interest and increase attendances.”