Sydneysiders will remember that the Oxford Street Rainbow Crossing, painted on in time for this year’s Mardi Gras festival cost $110,000 to lay down, only to be ripped up just weeks later for another $30,000.
In an episode of waste reminiscent of the rainbow crossing debacle, it has been revealed by the commission of enquiry into the Queensland Racing board that the Queensland Government spent $12 million to install a ‘drought-proof’ race track in Toowoomba, only to rip it up again for another $7 million.
The Australian reports:
A push by the former Labor-aligned Racing Queensland board, which included powerbroker Bill Ludwig, for a synthetic track in Toowoomba has cost taxpayers $20 million, and now the four-year-old surface is being ripped up amid claims of ‘shonky’ construction, unapproved payments and missing records.
The touted ‘drought-free’ synthetic track is a focus of investigations into the rollout of $158m in capital works across regional racecourses under the former Bligh government.
The $12m design and construction of the track at Toowoomba’s Clifford Park – which will be returned to its grass surface at a cost of more than $7m – is among 37 contracts awarded without public tender by Racing Queensland between 2007 and the state election in March last year.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The inquiry will also probe the pre-election approval – overseen by Mr Ludwig, the AWU national president and state secretary – of new contracts for four Racing Queensland executives involved in the capital works, which delivered them 30 per cent pay rises and $1.85m in payouts when they quit just after the state election.
So not only are Queensland taxpayers paying for a pointless race track, only to have it ripped up years later, they’re also paying for the fat bonuses of Racing Queensland’s board members.