TURF CLUB STILL IN THE BLOCKS AFTER QRL MEETING
Written on the 10 May 2010
GOLD Coast Turf Club (GCTC) officials are no closer to understanding the true intentions of Queensland Racing Limited (QRL) after a meeting today in Brisbane to discuss the future of the Bundall facility.
QRL presented its vision for the future of Gold Coast racing to the GCTC board, but chairman Andrew Eggleston says plans for a refurbishment of the site still appear shaky.
“There’s not much detail at this stage, they (QRL) only had a picture. They don’t know the cost or how much they’re going to put toward it.”
Tensions have escalated between the QRL and regional Queensland clubs as the racing body seeks to gain control of those that are not deemed to be performing at optimum levels. Eggleston has labelled the tactic an ‘asset grab’.
QRL chairman Bob Bentley could not put a cost on what he believes will be a viable redevelopment for the facility, home to the Magic Millions carnival.
“This will be a multi-million dollar redevelopment for all of Queensland and the control body will not give millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money away without the industry taking an equity position,” he says.
“The QRL board had agreed to consider any alternate proposal the GCTC puts forward but it would need to be financially robust and transparent.
“QRL will seek a meeting in late-June to allow sufficient time for both parties to consider all outcomes. We have also asked the GCTC to do some more work on their own proposal and come back to us with fully funded documents for our consideration.”
The proposed overhaul would include an upgrade to the course, new synthetic track, new bitumen ambulance track, major new drainage works and underground tunnels for both pedestrians and horses eliminating current safety concerns.
“This proposal will provide state of the art racing and training facilities ensuring trainers and horses are properly looked after in a professional manner. This will also attract quality yearlings currently domiciled interstate that could be trained on the Gold Coast,” says Bentley.
Bentley says the public and GCTC members will also receive new and refurbished facilities.
“The QRL concept includes 500 new car parks to help take cars off side streets during race days as well as new corporate and hospitality facilities and a major upgrade to the grandstand and betting ring,” he says.
QRL is confident of making the redevelopment a reality with a construction start earmarked for January 2011, if it can get GCTC to agree on terms.