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By David Fowler | Tuesday, October 27, 2020

If the markets are right, we will be waking up on Sunday morning to four more years of Labor State Government rule.

Purely from a racing perspective, is this a good thing?

I must admit I’ve been surprised by the number of people I would consider truly conservative yet who are pinning their faith in a Labor re-election from a racing viewpoint.

And many of these are not cheerleaders but movers and shakers in the business.

The strongest point to their argument is that for so long racing … the political football … gets the chance to settle down and enjoy a level of continuity and consistency with a third term Labor administration.

It’s a point that is hard to ignore.

The Coalition’s racing policy includes several positive ideas but you would be naïve to think change for change’s sake isn’t in their armoury.

This isn’t new politics from either side of the fence.

When questioned, for example, on Racing Queensland’s efficiencies on Monday’s Press Room, you didn’t need to read between the lines that Shadow Minister John-Paul Langbroek has his eye on the “Deagon bunker”.

Their plan to re-establish individual code boards has many sensing another level of bureaucracy that cannot exert any real power.

This was the case when the Coalition was last in control (2012-15), but Langbroek was adamant in our interview that their role would have more grunt this time around.

Their review of QRIC and the overhaul of the justice process is a clear winner for industry participants yet Labor is going down a similar line although not as bullishly as the Coalition.

I think that the Palaszczuk Government has managed the Queensland racing industry more than adequately and we are in reasonably good shape.

Yet Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe was frank enough to admit that shortcomings such as QRIC/QCAT processes and the slow implementation of infrastructure needed improvement.

They have to be taken at their word that this will happen.

If there was a “unity ticket” as such, it was both Hinchliffe and Langbroek’s evasiveness in regards to the flourishing Point Of Consumption (betting) tax.

Achieving a far rosier figure than budgeted has racing people now asking, legitimately, why can’t the industry secure a larger share considering it’s putting on the show.

Maybe that’s a question to be addressed higher up the totem pole (according to Hinchliffe), but it is one that is well worth asking.

I suppose it’s a reflection on the relatively strong health of the Queensland industry that a positive case be made for whichever party secures power.

Labor can continue its work and be given the chance to improve on its shortcomings yet a fresh set of eyes (Coalition) are taking over a reasonably robust product.

That’s not having a bet each-way but an honest appraisal.

But whoever comes up trumps, expect the drums to start beating about a better return from the POC tax.

The genie is now out of the bottle on that one.

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