Absent Minister in Qld racing crosshairs

Absent Minister in Qld racing crosshairs

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The organisers of proposed industrial action in Queensland racing have called on the Minister Sterling Hinchliffe to immediately return from holidays.

Trainers, jockeys, owners and breeders have threatened strike action on October 27 and for Melbourne Cup day on November 6 as a protest against the distribution of the Point of Consumption tax which began this week.

The government has announced a 15 per cent POC and most of the money will go to a reimbursement of a TAB confidential agreement, writing off a $17 million debt and a $20 million one-off grant for harness and greyhound infrastructure.

The industry had wanted to government to follow NSW and Victoria and allocate funds for increased prize money.

Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association Cameron Partington said Hinchliffe was on holidays but organisers had been on contact with his office.

"An offer of a meeting on his return from holidays on Monday, October 15 was immediately rejected," he said.

Partington said the protest organisers had wanted Hinchliffe, treasurer Jackie Tradd and their advisers along with Racing Queensland leaders to meet with them as soon as possible this week.

"The problem is Hinchliffe being away. But it is no different to a trainer who if away would be on the first flight home if his stable was in need."

Hinchliffe could not be contacted on Saturday.

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