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Ray Stevens Harness Racing Speech in Parliament

09 September 2011

Mr Ray Stevens MP

Office of the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Racing

State Member for Mermaid Beach

07 September 2011

Mr STEVENS (Mermaid Beach - LNP) (9:25 pm):

It saddens me greatly that again I have to rise in this House to highlight the dysfunctional, deceitful antics of Racing Queensland in its dealings with the three racing codes in Queensland.

We have seen the disgraceful abuse of Australian Workers Union funds being used without members' knowledge by its boss, Mr Bill Ludwig, in a $45,000 racing industry defamation case. We have seen the public deceit by the chairman of Racing Queensland, Bob Bentley, who said on 20 May this year - I confirm that the litigation between Mr Bill Ludwig and Mr Bill Carter was not funded by Racing Queensland ... but instead, by Mr Ludwig personally. I repeat: personally.

Since when did Bill Ludwig pay his personal bills with AWU cheques? What a deliberate, disgraceful and dishonest deception these government protected, Labor-mates board members are playing out on the racing industries of Queensland. This latest Racing Queensland fiasco comes on top of the harness industry Bentley blunder, where he spitefully denied the Parklands harness racing meeting cross-code betting which cost the Tatts Group Ltd company hundreds of thousands of dollars in TAB turnover. Tatts Group Ltd should be asking its board member Bentley why he is taking out his personal frustrations and vendettas to the detriment of TAB turnover, costing Tatts shareholders good money. Mr Bentley subsequently issued a statement, which I table.

Tabled paper: Media release, dated 26 August 2011, from Racing Queensland titled Response to "Ray Stevens".

In that statement, he insisted the blame was on Mr Bill Dixon, chairman of BOTRA, representing the harness industry, who demanded the single, stand-alone harness meeting at Parklands. I table Mr Dixon's truthful response on the matter, denying Bentley's false half-truth, which indelibly illustrates the connivance and spin Mr Bentley puts on his public utterances to grease his way around the truth of his actions.

Tabled paper: Media release, dated 30 August 201, from the Breeders, Owners, Trainers & Reinspersons Association (Qld) Inc. titled Response to Bob Bentley.

Mr Bentley's latest victims of unfair and unjust practice are the Queensland oncourse bookmakers who are going to be taxed on their winning gross profits on a monthly basis. However, when the bookies make a monthly loss - and I, as a punter, try my very best to make that happen - they are not allowed to credit those losses against their winning profitable months. Not even the Australian Taxation Office would countenance such an unfair and inequitable outcome. But unassailable, unelected and unbending Bob Bentley has instigated another tax that will see bookies wiped out in droves across the racecourses of Queensland.

Maybe it is his intent to get rid of bookies in Queensland to further TAB turnover as the only option available to punters, but that strategy is flawed and short-sighted as the bookies are a colourful and integral part of the flair and attraction of people to a racecourse in Queensland. Again, the choice is clear for the people involved in the racing industries of Queensland. At the next state election, whenever it is called, a vote for Bligh and the Labor government means they get Bentley, Bentley and more Bentley; or if they vote for the 'Can-do' Campbell team -

(Time expired)