The establishment of the advisory panel follows the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce’s announcement of a new levy to provide the thoroughbred breeding industry with greater certainty about future R&D funding.
The levy, to be managed and invested by Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), is expected to collect $400,000 from the industry each year. The Coalition Government will match expenditure by RIRDC on eligible thoroughbred R&D dollar-for-dollar.
The levy will be set at a rate of $10 per mare covered per season, paid by the stallion owner and $10 per mare returned per season, paid by the broodmare owner. Additional voluntary contributions will compliment levies collected and be available for research investment.
“This forum is an opportunity for industry representatives to present to the Thoroughbred Advisory Panel on the capacity each of their organisation holds in equine research,” said RIRDC Program Manager, Research and Innovation, Michael Beer.
Stud farms across Australia will benefit from the new industry-backed R&D levy, aimed at improving thoroughbred breeding while combatting diseases and parasites in horses.
The thoroughbred racing industry is worth around $5 billion per annum to the Australian economy, and employs more than 65,000 people, particularly in rural and regional areas.
The advisory panel is chaired by Professor Nigel Perkins from the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland. He is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of veterinary epidemiology.
Other panel members are Jacqueline Stewart, (Keeper of the Australian Stud Book), Dr Catherine Chicken (consultant to the Scone Equine Hospital on pathology and infectious disease), Judith Medd (Racing and Wagering Western Australia Industry Veterinarian), Derek Field (Widden Stud General Manager) and Tas Rielley (owner/operator of Basinghall Broodmare Farm).
The Thoroughbred Advisory Panel will meet on Wednesday 28 June and host a forum for industry and researchers on Thursday 29 June from 9am to 3pm.