Thoroughbred Breeders Australia hosted Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten at a function at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday.
The recently-appointed PM threw his support behind the thoroughbred breeding industry at the function, which was also organised by the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers.
“It is a fair dinkum, very serious business and industry,” Mr Morrison said. “It is one that provides significant economic and employment opportunities especially for rural and regional Australia.”
Mr Morrison said the federal government would continue to support drought relief, while opposition Leader Mr Shorten spoke about the need to address the skills shortage in the industry.
“It is a fair dinkum, very serious business and industry. It is one that provides significant economic and employment opportunities especially for rural and regional Australia.” - Scott Morrison
“I understand that in this industry for a small number of people we need to bring in people from overseas,” the Labor leader said. “We don’t have the skills here, we don’t have the people here that we need to have a visa system that brings people in.”
TBA chief executive Tom Reilly was delighted at the turnout for the event.
“It is testament to the fact that breeding and racing are truly part of the fabric of Australian society that so many politicians are here tonight," he said.
Hunter MP, and Shadow Agriculture Minister and co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers, Joel Fitzgibbon said the event had continued its history of reminding us the racing industry begins on a farm.
“It is testament to the fact that breeding and racing are truly part of the fabric of Australian society that so many politicians are here tonight." - TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly.
“Next time you’re at Randwick, Flemington or Moonee Valley think about where it all begins,” he said.
“An industry worth itself much more than $1 billion to our economy and a thoroughbred breeding industry that sustains about 10,000 people across the country - that’s what we want you to be thinking about tonight.”
He was more than happy to claim the association with Winx, who was bred at Coolmore Stud in his Hunter Valley electorate and on Saturday will seek to take her unbeaten run to 29 races.