Among the many cuts introduced by the LNP government (which promised, pre-election to improve services), some of the sharpest are in the area of hospitals. According to this report, Royal Brisbane&Womens and Metro North face cuts of $130 million a year between them, with much more to come elsewhere. But, according to the Premier, we are on the verge of the abyss, and everyone must make sacrifices.
Well, not quite everyone. Despite the emergency situation, Campbell Newman has managed to find $110 million to upgrade the racing industry statewide, including more than $30 million for the Gold Coast turf club, to build “a slick new bar and upgraded foyer and lobby entry”. I’m sure that if RBWH had an extra $33 million to spend, they could find a better use for it than a slick new bar and foyer.
(Hat tip @BigBadWolf1950 on Twitter)
Massive state subsidies for the racing industry are the kind of historical anomaly that would be up for abolition if the government and its Commission of Audit were serious. Historically, they derive from a period when the only legal form of gambling (apart from the Casket) was on-course race betting. When the TAB was established, decades ago, the racing industry demanded and got, a share of the take. But those days are long gone, and now we can bet on just about anything. If the racing industry needs money, it should get it from gate takings or broadcast rights, just like other sports.
fn1. News Limited, but likely to be accurate on a topic like this.