G—Board or Control for Registered Racing.
The general trend of the evidence submitted in regard to registered racing was entirely in support of the retention of the existing form of control by The Queensland Turf Club, as the principal registered club, without legislative interference.
In certain quarters, however, dissatisfaction was expressed as to some aspects of this control.
Thus, witnesses representing the Queensland Breeders, Owners, and Trainers' Association, which has applied for registration as a club and which desires the holding of registered racing on week days, considered that the right of according registration to courses and clubs should be vested in a board of control.
These witnesses and others would also give to such board the final determination of appeals, the fixation of the number of meetings, the allotment of dates, and the determination of the minimum prize money.
Much of this evidence was prompted by a belief that the present system had been responsible for encouraging, in former years, the growth of proprietary racing, and had thus led to the present position, under which a great proportion of the moneys contributed by the racing public towards the sport is being paid away in purchase money for Albion Park.
Such considerations, even if fully established, would furnish no just reason for condemning the present control.
That control is to be judged on its merits in actual operation. So judged, no case has yet been made out against it. It gives complete satisfaction to the very large majority of persons taking part in registered racing. It is the system in vogue in all the States of Australia. Theoretical objections to a system which has approved itself in practice and which works no public evil can lay no basis for the intrusion of the Legislature into the domestic concerns of voluntary sporting associations.
It was further suggested that, in the event of an application being made for the registration of another grass course, The Queensland Turf Club might refuse such registration, or, while consenting to register the new club, might fail impartially to discharge its duty as the principal club in allocating the available number of race days between the existing and the newly registered clubs.
There is no present need to anticipate any such improper refusal or failure. Should the committee of The Queensland Turf Club fail to discharge impartially the quasi-judicial functions intrusted to it, the Legislature will readily be able to intervene. This position, however, has not yet arisen.
In the opinion of the Commission, registration should not be refused to a bona fide club owning an adequately equipped racecourse in a suitable position. On registration, such a club would be entitled to a reasonable proportion of the available racing dates. The numerical allocation of dates "would, of course, be determined by circumstances as then existing. Should present conditions continue to prevail, however, it is obvious from what has been said above that, in the opinion of the Commission, the interests of the racing public—which is the paramount consideration—would not be sacrificed by taking a greater proportion of the dates to be allotted to the new club from Albion Park than from either of the other present registered clubs.