Racing Queensland announces flood relief

A relief package has been finalised to help trainers, jockeys and stable staff affected by central Queensland floods.

With most of Rockhampton’s racetrack under water, Racing Queensland has announced a $1.55 million package for industry stakeholders.

Callaghan Park, reopened 12 months ago after a $6 million facelift, backs onto the swollen Fitzroy River.

The racetrack, which also provides stabling for more than 200 thoroughbreds in training, is expected to remain submerged for two weeks.

“With floodwaters expected to remain over the track for a period of up to two weeks, it is impossible to predict the impact the water will have on the track surface,” Racing Queensland chairman Bob Bentley said in a statement.

Racing Queensland will provide $1 million to fund the remediation of racing and training infrastructure in Rockhampton and other flood-affected regional racing centres.

The package also provides for one-off grants to Rockhampton trainers as well as jockeys, trackwork riders and stable staff.

“The racing industry in Rockhampton is facing one of its darkest hours … placing significant uncertainty around the short-term future of racing in central Queensland,” Bentley said.

“Today’s announcement is aimed at providing access to critical funds for those licensee groups unable to to ply their trade due to the closure of Callaghan Park for training and racing.

“It could be many months before the massive clean-up is finalised and things return to normal for Rockhampton’s racing community.”

Extra thoroughbred meetings have been added to the Queensland racing schedule to compensate for the loss of Rockhampton meetings.