More value in racing than just money
THE popularity of races across the Wide Bay has allowed the industry to put a huge amount of money back into the economy.
Wide Bay alone was responsible for generating $26.1 million in value from racing in 2017-18, as well as sustaining 195 people in full-time employment.
Volunteer Fashions on the Field judge Rebecca Hutchins said the social aspect of race days was also important.
“It is extremely social,” Ms Hutchins said.
“It is a nice opportunity to catch up with friends and there are different crowds.
“I love the social aspect and I absolutely love the fashion.
“The girls in Bundaberg put a lot of thought into their outfits.
“It’s a lot of fun, that’s the whole point.”
Racing Queensland said Wide Bay was home to more than 10 per cent of volunteers in Queensland racing.
Ms Hutchins said she and others volunteered to give back to the local area.
“We do it because we love to give back to the community,” she said.
“(The races) are important things for our Australian identity.”
Racing Queensland also championed the 28,000 people who attended race meetings in Wide Bay, calling them the “lifeblood” of the industry.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the people involved in racing made it what it was.
“In Wide Bay alone there are 2462 participants who are directly involved, many of them running their own small businesses which contribute significantly to the state’s economy and who derive great joy and pleasure from their roles within the industry,” Mr Hinchliffe said.