Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Run of Problems at RJC Continues to Grow

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Run of Problems at RJC Continues to Grow

Article excerpt

HORSE RACING: Just as was the case before it's creation about two years ago, the partnership arrangement between the Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) and Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) is proving a complex matter to be dissolved and already legalities are rearing their ugly heads.

The RQL C[pounds sterling]wish listC[yen] was for the RJC to be handed back Callaghan Park racecourse and its financial burden as from July 1 but it soon became apparent that this was folly.

RJC chairman Justin Doyle said his club's preference would be September 30, but RQL was pressing for August 1. But he said that organisation was C[pounds sterling]flexibleC[yen] about the matter.

Briefly, RQL has offered the RJC an annual subsidy for maintaining the Callaghan Park racetrack, training tracks and facilities and just about everything else which amounts to $597,000.

As a one-off, RQL will provide the RJC with an extra $603,000 for the 2012-13 season which amounts to $1.2m.

Considering the sheer size and dimensions of the racecourse which include the stabling barns and a massive amount of equipment as well as the wages bill for the ground staff, the offer of $597,000 from RQL is paltry.

It amounts to less than $11, 500 a week which is a recipe for disaster for the RJC.

So much so, RJC chairman Justin Doyle said that the club would lose about $300,000 annually on current figures which after three years could have it on skid row.

Doyle held talks with RQL chairman Kevin Dixon at the Winter Racing Carnival last week and the latter gave him a very good hearing.

C[pounds sterling]Kevin is very easy to deal with and we (RJC) have positive vibes about working together with them (RQL). He (Dixon) believes RQL has wasted considerable amounts in maintaining the facilities and that the RJC can certainly make savings in costings,C[yen] Doyle said.

He said the RJC had legal advice that the partnership deal could not be scrapped until certain matters about club profitability had been put before an extra-ordinary general meeting of RJC members.

I am not an RJC sympathiser on many matters but in this case, it is difficult not to have empathy for the plight the club has been put in by a change of government.

Sure the RJC got about $2M from the Bob Bentley-led RQL for signing-over the racing complex at Callaghan Park to RQL.

Don't collapse in shock, I applaud (that's right applaud) the RJC for spending the money as it did on the new members-public facility at Callaghan Park.

Otherwise, it is well within reason to expect the RJC would have been required to refund the $2m to a cash- starved RQL which is simply a political wing of the equalled cash-starved LNP Queensland Government.

Regardless of politics and I'm seriously non-political Co as far as I'm concerned all political parties are tarred with the same brush Co C[pounds sterling]they do some good, they do some badC[yen]. …

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