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QTOA Chairman's Report: December 2023

Dear Members,

We want everyone to be aware that Racing Queensland has announced that a 1% insurance levy will be placed on thoroughbred prize money for all TAB races from January 1, 2024.

As part of the QTOA’s role on the Thoroughbred Alliance, we had been in discussions with Racing Queensland about the rising costs of work cover premiums for trainers in Queensland and understand this measure has been put in place to help offset some of those costs.

It is very important that stables have appropriate work cover insurance in place, particularly given the inherent risks associated with working with strong athletic animals in sometimes confined spaces. We supported the levy on prize money as the best option available and have accepted the assurances from RQ that part of the funds raised will go toward better education and infrastructure to attempt to minimize workplace accidents.

The best outcome will be that during the trial period there is a decrease in injury and claims to manageable levels and the levy is removed. Premium costs are driven primarily by claims experience and we do not want to provide prolonged funding support to inefficient systems and unscrutinized claims.

Owners should also be aware that the ATA (Australian Trainer’s Association) has recommended trainers introduce a $5 per horse work cover fee as an additional line item on monthly invoices to help offset the remainder of the premium costs.

As every trainer has a different set of circumstances when it comes to work cover premiums, we recommend owners check their invoices and if you have any questions, to chat to your trainer directly.

More information on Racing Queensland’s insurance levy is listed below.

Happy Christmas and New Year to all and let's hope 2024 rains the joy of racing on us all.


The levy will be introduced on an 18-month trial and is designed to provide the following benefits for all Queensland thoroughbred trainers. They are:

  • Subsidise up to 30% of annual WorkCover premium costs, noting the first period of cover is for six months (January - June 2024);

  • Support the funding of Professional Indemnity (PI) and Public Liability (PL) insurance currently funded by RQ and applicable to all trainers in Queensland;

  • Encourage and monitor the uptake of WorkCover policies;

  • Support the funding of WHS enhancements and training to reduce the likelihood of incidents and creating a safer Queensland racing industry; and

  • Centralise the management of WorkCover, encouraging support for recovery and return to work.

The funds generated through the insurance levy will be used to fund a range of insurance and safety initiatives.

Trainers will be required to provide WorkCover certificates to RQ between July 1 and August 31, 2024, and will receive a refund from RQ by October 31, 2024, for the prior six-month period.

In calculating subsidies, RQ will use the early payment discount rate as the premium amount for calculating reimbursements.

Any penalties or fines due to previous late payments or non-compliant activities will not be included for reimbursement. This amount is based on six months of the premium year being subsidised as a result of the levy commencing January 1, 2024.

Trainers included in the program will need to report all WorkCover incidents to a designated assessor at WorkCover for continued inclusion in the program.

Following the 18-month trial, the levy will reviewed with KPIs closely monitored.

1 Comment

Dec 16, 2023

While the 1% levy has been introduced to assist trainers to reduce the amount they pay for their Workers Comp premiums, those premiums will continue to rise until trainers are assisted to manage their injured workers & a suitable duties scheme is put in place to assist those injured workers to return to work as soon as possible even if they are not fit for their normal duties.

The Racing Industry & associated businesses need to come together to do this.

I note there are conditions on trainers accessing the funds. Who is assisting the trainers to meet these conditions?

This cost will continue to be passed on to owners & will continue to increase ownership costs until it is…

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