Jockeys have threatened to take industrial action during the Melbourne Cup carnival over the lack of government commitment to funding the National Jockeys Trust.
Riders will meet after the third race on Saturday’s Cox Plate program at Moonee Valley and are expected to endorse a range of resolutions.
The Australian Jockeys Association says state and territory governments have until Thursday to invest $5 million in the trust to avoid industrial action.
The trust helps injured jockeys and their families in times of hardship.
The association has been running a campaign to secure funding for more than a year and chief executive Paul Innes says it is not prepared to wait any longer.
“We have spoken to all state and territory racing ministers and they have all said they are supportive of the need to look after and protect injured jockeys and their families. Yet they have failed to put their money where their mouth is,” Innes said.
He said state and territory governments made upwards of $610 million from the racing industry.
“Governments receive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the races, made up of punters’ money put through the TAB.
“Yet when it comes to giving some of that money back to help the jockeys who keep the industry going, they do nothing.
“Over the next decade between 12 and 15 jockeys will die on the track and countless more will be left with serious disabling injuries, unable to ever work again. That is the reality of our industry.
“There are 840 professional jockeys in Australia today, 80 per cent of whom earn less than $50,000 and we need to make sure they have a safety net should they become seriously injured.
“It’s time for governments to step up to the plate and support our jockeys.”