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By Graham Potter | Monday, January 1, 2018

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.

Here is my wish-list for the racing industry in Queensland in 2018.

That the government, through the new Racing Minister, will get to understand that the Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board and the racing administration all-encompassing structure it oversees is something the majority of industry stakeholders do not want and, as such it should be dismantled as a precursor to returning the three racing codes to their own individual authority.

That’s it. That’s my wish-list.

Short and simple. I know a healthy racing industry requires far more than that but I would be happy to take this change as a necessary and therefore vital starting point in writing the blueprint of the future and let everything flow from there.

That is to say the importance of this simple step cannot be stressed enough because it would the starting point necessary to put horse racing on the road to improvement,

I mean authorities like to say in press releases that they have ‘listened’ to industry participants ... so prove it.

There has got to be a separation of identity between the three codes.

One code simply cannot be allowed to be compromised by the financial failings of others or, worse still, by any moral weakness’ such as cobalt issues (horse racing), the live baiting disgrace (greyhound racing) or the massive driver corruption allegations (harness racing).

No code is perfect but each code’s individual responsibility can clearly only pertain to their own sport and for that reason alone a clear-cut separation of identity between codes is necessary so they can absorb the good and deal with the bad in their own right and not have their individual profile’s damaged by the current ‘for no good purpose’ default setting.

And as for the financial story.

It’s a modern world now guys, one in which both big business and small business, some of which have been in the family for years, are standing or tripping and falling over bottom line of whether they are viable or not.

The time of a ‘protected species’ is fast becoming a thing of the past. If any racing code can’t survive financially it has to face the threat of closure. If there is no threat because that code is being carried by other codes, irrespective of how it performs and the damage it does to those other codes, where is the type of incentive, often borne of necessity, which will force them to find that initiative which will turnaround their fortunes.

There is none.

Most of the above negative connotations can be swept away by making each code masters of their own destiny ... so why wouldn’t the government do that?

The government has dismissed racing boards before and they have the power to do so again and press the reset button back to a three code model.

Who knows, they might even be given credit for admitting the All Codes system was a mistake!

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