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Birdsville race meeting to be telecast

Queensland’s famous Birdsville Cup carnival will be telecast Australia-wide for the first time with half of the wagering proceeds going to the Drought Appeal.

The meetings will have full TAB coverage.

Queensland racing minister Stirling Hinchliffe said new telecasting and betting technology would transform the 136-year-old carnival on August 31 and September 1.

“Racing Queensland has finalised a deal for Sky Racing to telecast the entire race cards from Birdsville’s world famous two-day meeting,” he said.

“Racing Queensland will donate half of its net wagering revenue from Birdsville to the Drought Appeal, delivering much-needed funds for struggling Queensland farmers.

“Birdsville is a magical part of our vast state and is no stranger to the extremes of nature as two years ago, the Birdsville Cup had to be postponed due to major flooding and now the town, along with large parts of Queensland, are gripped in a crippling drought.”

About 7000 local, interstate and international visitors come to Birdsville for the tiny town’s race meeting each year.

Hinchliffe said the broadcast deal had been made possible by the state government’s four-year $70 million Country Racing Support Package.

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