New CEO announced for Racing Queensland

Media Release by Racing Queensland

The Chair of Racing Queensland, Steve Wilson AM has announced the appointment of experienced media, wagering and sports executive Brendan Parnell to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Brendan Parnell

Brendan Parnell will take the reins as RQ’s CEO

Mr Wilson said Mr Parnell is well qualified to lead Racing Queensland into a new era of prosperity and growth. “We engaged the best executive recruitment specialists to find candidates for this important role and Brendan Parnell stood out as offering a diverse set of skills and capabilities that we feel will benefit racing across all three codes. We welcome him to the role.”

“Officially the new CEO will start on May 14 and we will be liaising with him between now and his official start date.”

Mr Parnell has substantial experience in racing and wagering and was most recently the Chief Operating Officer, Wagering, of Tatts Group, which operated UBET prior to Tatts Group’s merger with Tabcorp in December 2017. He also held senior roles at Tabcorp and Sky Channel and has undertaken a Senior Executive Program at Stanford University.

Mr Parnell said he was honoured to be selected to head-up racing in Queensland. “Racing in Queensland is a massive sport and business which impacts almost every town and community across the sunshine state.

“How we connect and enhance racing is critical for its more than 41,000 participants. I’m excited by that challenge and the many opportunities in coming years.”

Mr Wilson said the new CEO will have a number of focus-points for his first three months in the role including the Queensland Winter and Summer Racing Carnivals, growing revenue and increasing returns to participants after the previously announced $15 million annual boost to prize money.

“The incoming CEO will also be acutely aware of the importance of Racing Queensland’s delivery of our infrastructure projects across the state including the return to racing of our premier thoroughbred venue Eagle Farm.

“I am pleased that the grow-in is showing some positive signs after the final sections of the track were completed last week. I look forward to progress reports as we count-down to its return to our racing schedule.”

Mr Wilson also nominated infrastructure projects in country and regional areas, the Ipswich Turf Club and the Gold Coast Turf Club as being key priorities. The search is also continuing for land for possible new or replacement sites for greyhound and harness racing to the south and west of Brisbane.

Mr Parnell will relocate from Sydney to Brisbane for the new role. Mr Wilson thanked Racing Queensland’s GM of Racing Simon Stout for acting in the CEO role until Mr Parnell arrives.