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Leadership needed in the racing industry

13 July 2011

Leadership needed in the racing industry

With the racing industry increasingly in decline Labour’s Racing Spokesperson Ross Robertson is calling on the Government to bring the major players together to come up with a platform for change.

“National’s plan to remove the prize pool subsidy established by the previous Labour Government will strike at the heart of this iconic Kiwi industry,” Ross Robertson said.

“In 2008 and in consultation with the industry, Labour established a $1 million a year Racing Promotion and Sponsorship Scheme to assist the three racing codes to lift their profile and to generate more sponsorship.

“Trainers and owners already struggle to make ends meet. Without the subsidy the industry will plummet further into decline.

“The industry directly employs the equivalent of nearly 9,000 people, many of whom are low paid workers in the agriculture and hospitality industries.

“The need to take action before this becomes a sunset industry is paramount. There are far too many jobs at stake for incoming Racing Minister Craig Foss to sit on his hands and do nothing,” Ross Robertson said.

“I know we are in tough economic times and the industry is facing difficulty, but Mr Foss should at least be working with the industry to find an alternative solution.

“Horse and dog racing are an important pastime for many Kiwis. The courage, skill and passion in the industry is plain for all to see. This can be a productive industry for New Zealand again, but jobs are at stake as Mr Foss sits on the side-lines.

“Mr Foss should get up off his hind legs and show leadership, before the industry goes into further decline,” Ross Robertson said.

ENDS

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