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By David Fowler | Tuesday, October 1, 2019

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

Ever had a peek at a racetrack when you’re flying in the air.

I don’t know about you but it always amazes me how expansive the piece of land is.

A racetrack is clearly one of the standout features in the jigsaw of a city or town’s housing and commercial development.

You have a far better appreciation of their size hovering over them in a plane than when you’re on the ground.

It’s fair to say these are significant tracts of land that are largely underutilized.

The Queensland racing landscape illustrates this point brilliantly.

Without precise figures at my disposal, imagine the amount of tracks dotted around the state that lie idle for 364 days of the year.

To put it another way, there are umpteen tracks who race once a year.

There are many more who only race a handful of times.

Yet the clubs that host these annual or bi-annual events dutifully line up for State Government or Racing Queensland infrastructure grants.

So, it’s a pertinent question then is the Government or RQ getting a fair bang for its buck?

I’m not suggesting these clubs should be closed but the under-utilization of their land is an issue that needs to be put high on an agenda.

It’s amazing this idle situation has been allowed to occur for so long.

The clubs that fall into these categories need to be putting their thinking caps on to discover how their tracks can be used outside of racedays.

Many alternatives would have the potential to earn valuable revenue streams.

And if the mindpower is not there on the ground, the State Government and Racing Queensland need to step in to assist with their plentiful resources.

While there could be one-off events, multi sporting use of these tracks is one that readily comes to mind.

Put a football field or a cricket pitch in the middle of the track.

What about the regular hosting of “grey nomads”?

The scenario of accepting infrastructure grants and subsidies for one off racedays has a short life.

The under-utilization of significant racetrack land is an issue that has to be urgently addressed.

And to conclude, it might be passing co-incidental, but the dynamic Racing NSW body is currently chartering a course of exactly what I am talking about.

And you would have to agree they don’t get it wrong too often.

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best