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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN - GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE EAGLE FARM TRACK PROBLEM

By Graham Potter | Sunday, March 19, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

It’s been a bumpy road and now it has got a fork in it.

Decisions. Decisions.

I’m talking about the path the ‘new’ Eagle Farm track has followed and the route it will take from here. Eight months on since its delayed opening day and any premature pretensions that it would be the best track in Australia ‘in twelve month’s time’ have long since floundered on shifting ground.

Finding the root cause of the Eagle Farm track problem has become a crisis situation ... not least because of the Brisbane Carnival looming in the near future ...and there is no doubt that some very strong questions have to asked and answered as a means to resolving the matter.

Did Evergreen Turf, who was responsible for the track upgrade, leave an essential maintenance ‘manual’ with Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) on completion of the track? Was that protocol followed to the letter of the law by BRC track management staff?

If it was, was there a flaw in the procedures set out by Evergreen? Alternatively, if Evergreen’s full maintenance strategy protocol was not followed completely, why was that not done?

The problem started somewhere and if it is in that mix mentioned above, which is the obvious starting point, then the good news is that it can be formally identified and rectified.

Were there other detrimental influences in play? Weather ... workload etc?

Undoubtedly there are several contributing factors but it is important that the overall situation now be addressed aggressively and honestly by the relevant officials.

By aggressively I mean attacking the problem head on with real intent, urgency and gusto. By honestly I mean abandoning the spin many officials are prone to put on things ... which never works anyway as racegoers are clearly more intelligent and knowledgeable than they are given credit for ... and getting real about the task at hand.

None of the questions above are intended to be part of a witch hunt looking to attach blame. Rather they, and the further questions they will lead to, are part of a problem solving exercise looking to identify a solution.

Let’s get to it!

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