Jenny - Clean

By Terry BUTTS of the North Queensland Register

COUNTRY racing in the southern States paints a far brighter picture than Queensland where the clubs in the south-east corner and those in the country scramble for the crumbs of a diminishing cake. They live on hope.

And, closer to home, the Chairman’s report to be handed down at the Townsville Turf Club’s AGM next month is hardly a confidence booster for the future.

  • The Townsville Turf Club reports a loss last year of more than $600,000 and Chairman Mal Pertrofski indicates the much-lauded new $6 million track might be a millstone around the club’s neck.
  • He states: “The new track gives Townsville a superior racing surface – however does not deliver extra income – and in fact adds an extra cost of $200,000 a year in costs and maintenance.”
  • “The club (previous committee) should not have proceeded with the track development without the income to cover its maintenance,” Petrofski. (This is a view that might spark some discontent in local racing circles as there is still some argy bargy over the dramatic change of committee in 2016).
  • In fact, the previous committee reigned en masse after refusing a demand by Racing Queensland they should accept a $400,000 grant conditional that they employ a RQ nominated auditor to work for three months at a cost (to the TTC) of $200,000. They refused (not surprisingly) and resigned.

RQ then called for a new committee (some say these people were already on standby) and immediately dropped the demand for an excessively expensive auditor.

Funny that!

Meanwhile, the previous committee claim RQ still owes the TTC $250,000 from the track development that was paid out of TTC funds for which they claim RQ was, and is, responsible.

Talk about a dog’s breakfast!

  • Meanwhile a glimpse of the financials clearly shows Townsville relies heavily on funding by Racing Queensland without which it simply could not function.
  • The club’s auditor said the TTC was reviewing all operations and working on a turnaround strategy to ensure the club trades to the end of 2018 financial year.
  • “There is no indication to believe Racing Queensland would not continue providing support to the club in the future,” he said. 
  • That, of course, might depend on who is in the Chair at Deagon or who is in charge at George Street – but given current political connections or affiliations – Cluden looks fairly safe....for the present at least.


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