Racing Queensland has given an assurance racing will continue in its largest provincial centre after the committee of the Townsville Turf Club quit en masse.
TTC Chairman Kevin O’Keefe wrote to members saying the committee was not prepared to increase its borrowing from Racing Queensland and to also pay for an administrator for 12 weeks.
RQ’s chief executive Elliott Forbes said the committee decision had been a surprise and RQ was prepared to advance the TTC a loan of$440,000
“Racing Queensland is working closely with Townsville Turf Club on a range of short and long term strategies to help ensure the continuity of racing in Townsville,” Forbes said..
“That’s why Racing Queensland provided the club with $7 million in 2015 to upgrade the turf track and ancillary facilities, and has previously supplied $211,000 for financial support.”
He said last year the club received $652,000 in club subsidy payments from RQ and this year this was forecast to increase 14 per cent to $743,000.
“However, we do need to address concerns which have been raised by the club itself regarding its business model,” he said.
Forbes said RQ recently engaged McGrathNicol Advisory Partnership to undertake an independent business review of the club.
“The review assessed the club’s past financial performance, its current financial position, forecasted financial performance for the 2016/17 financial year and management of the club,” he said.
“The report confirmed that the club had been under financial strain for a number of years. It also noted that although the club had a “turnaround strategy”, without continued and additional financial support from RQ, it was likely that the TTC would be unable to continue to trade as a going concern in 2016/17.”
Forbes said in the club’s annual report the auditor noted if RQ support was not provided there would be material uncertainty regarding the ability of the club continuing as a going concern.