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RACING Queensland has unveiled an updated Strategic Plan in its bid to become ‘the number one sporting industry in the Sunshine State’.

Ahead of Wedesday’s Board meeting in Townsville, RQ has published a new-look Strategic Plan – along with an updated Infrastructure Plan – to guide the organization into a new decade and beyond.

This includes its new stated purpose ‘to champion great racing and events which connect Queensland communities’, along with five goals to become the number one sporting industry.

They are:

  • Five iconic race events;
  • Four new world-class racing facilities;
  • Three hundred million in revenue;
  • Two hundred and fifty million in payments to participants; and
  • One million attendees and participants per annum.

Boasting more than 40,000 participants, the size and scope of the Queensland racing industry is enormous.

The industry contributes more than $1.2 billion in economic contribution to the state’s economy each year with over 40% directly benefiting regional economies.

RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said the organization’s updated plans were centred on increasing returns to participants and enhancing amenities across the state.

“These are big goals which make for an exciting period for the Queensland racing industry,” Mr Parnell said.

“With the strong support of the Queensland Government, RQ delivered record-breaking returns to participants in 2018/19 and we remain committed to growing the industry through tangible goals and objectives.

“This includes expanding our iconic race events from two to five, while growing our weekly major events which take place across Sunshine State communities.

“Whether it’s the Birdsville Cup, Cairns Amateurs, Magic Millions or pacing from the Ekka, racing is all about great events which connect the community.

“With more than 1000 race meetings per annum, the industry is central to many communities across Queensland and plays a key role in uniting them through their activities on and off the track.”

As part of RQ’s updated Infrastructure Plan, the organization has outlined a number of key priority projects valued at $2 million or more that are proposed to be funded out of the Racing Infrastructure Fund.

To help advance those projects, RQ has already drawn down on feasibility funding for a new greyhound venue along with the Gold Coast Turf Club Tracks and Lights development, which is central to the night racing strategy.

A replacement synthetic track at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, a new metropolitan harness facility and lights at Doomben are among the other listed priority projects which will require funding approval.

In recent times, the RIF has been accessed to upgrade the course proper at Eagle Farm, the re-development of the Ipswich Turf Club and to commence the Country and Regional Capital Works Program.

RQ has also invested significant infrastructure funds in track rebuilds this decade in Rockhampton, Mackay, Toowoomba and Townsville.

“In order to deliver great racing and events we need great tracks and facilities,” Mr Parnell said.

“These will help future-proof our industry beyond tomorrow.

“Just as importantly, they align to our new-look strategy and will play a pivotal role in our bid to become the number one sporting industry in the Sunshine State.”

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