The peak Queensland racing identity made the startling claims speaking through a statement in response to mining magnate and Queensland harness racing industry heavyweight Clive Palmer’s claims that both harness racing and greyhound racing were being short changed by Racing Queensland.
Palmer had claimed that a $12 million spend on horse racing stables was at odds with Racing Queensland’s plans to sell of the Albion Park racing complex, the home of the Queensland harness and greyhound racing industries.
Palmer is of the opinion the $12 million stable complex is “too expensive and a waste of money”, and he is calling for a State Government inquiry.
In response Bentley said, “If Mr Palmer bothered to speak with me first, I would have also told him harness and greyhound racing is already struggling and unless drastic change is made to the way both are conducted in Queensland the two codes would surely die.
“In the 2009/2010 financial year prior to the amalgamation of all three codes, harness racing’s loss was $1,349,000 and greyhound racing sustained a loss of $958,000″.
“In addition, the Albion Park facility operated as a joint venture between both codes and it alone sustained a loss of $408,587”.
“For the first three months of this financial year harness code wagering saw a downturn of 12.5% and the greyhound code 5.3% compared to the same time last financial year.
“The harness downturn is despite an extra 10 race meetings being held in 2009/2010″.
“For greyhound and harness to prosper the status quo needs to change as a combined loss of $2,715,587 is not sustainable”.