Page:1930 QLD Royal Commission into Racing Report.djvu/36

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Possibility of opening Dosrnben. Deagon Racecourse.

The books of the Company show a total expenditure, including purchase money, on the property, as at 31st October, 1929, of £74,023 14s. 2d. Various suggestions were made as to how this property could be acquired by a bona fide race club. These were all based on resumption by the Government. The difficulty mainly arises from the objection to proprietary racing and the fear of exploitation by the present owners. It appears to be thought that, apart from these objections, finance should readily be forthcoming for the purchase of the property at its fair value. One witness put forward two schemes :■ — ■ (1) The Government to resume, improve, and sell to a club; the Government to be repaid out of profits. (2) The Government to resume, improve, and sell to a club ; the Government to be repaid by the issue of debentures. Both schemes provided for the allotment to the new club of racing days equal in number to those held by The Queensland Turf Club, and not being less than twenty- six. Both schemes practically involve the closure of Albion Park, A third suggestion was that the Government resume the land and vest it in trustees for racing purposes, the trustees to lease the land to a racing club or clubs, charging as rental 7 per cent, of the capital outlay, the clubs to effect annual improvements. This proposal also required the allotment to the new club of a sufficiency of racing dates. The Commission does not consider that any statutory scheme should be adopted which would involve, as one of its conditions, the present relinquish- ment by The Queensland Turf Club of any considerable number of its racing dates. The only available means of ascertaining the true value of Doomben appears to be by the application of legislation. The Public Works Land Resumption Acts, as they stand, do not appear to contemplate a resumption of land for racing purposes. The Commission cannot recommend anything in the nature of resumption unless and until the club which proposes to purchase or lease from the Govern- ment the land so resumed has furnished satisfactory guarantees of reimburse- ment of the public moneys so expended. In the event of a statutory resumption of Doomben, the Commission further considers that such legislation should provide that if, before: the expiration of a prescribed period, no new club with a constitution and membership, and of a financial ability satisfactory to the Minister in charge of the Act has purchased or leased the property so resumed, The Queensland Turf Club should thereafter have an option, limited as to time, to acquire the property at the cost of resumption. This course was last used in 1922. It has not been raced on by its present owners, The Brisbane Amateur Turf Club. A very considerable expenditure would be needed to prepare it for registered racing