Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) and the Gold Coast Turf Club today welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement of a multi-million dollar grant to redevelop the Bundall racecourse.
The announcement follows the signing of a heads of agreement between the Gold Coast Turf Club (GCTC) and Racing Queensland.
RQL chairman Bob Bentley said the $35.4 million redevelopment would be a massive boost for racing on the coast.
“This has been a long process and a lot of compromise between both parties has made this possible including RQL deciding against seeking equity in the club,” Mr Bentley said.
“Both RQL and GCTC want the best outcomes for racing on the Coast and I am delighted we could reach this agreement.”
Chairman of the GCTC Brett Cook said this is a major project for the Gold Coast.
“The funding grant will mean Bundall’s racing, members and training facilities will receive a significant upgrade to take the racing facility to a metropolitan standard,” Mr Cook said.
“The long term contract between the owners of Magic Millions and Events Queensland, coupled with the upgrade to the track and facilities, would further enhance racing on the Gold Coast and significantly increase its overseas appeal.
Premier Anna Bligh said she was pleased that the Gold Coast Turf Club and Racing Queensland had come to an agreement on the investment so works could commence as soon as possible.
“This announcement secures the future of thoroughbred racing on the Gold Coast, including the Magic Millions Carnival.
“I can also confirm that Racing Queensland will not be seeking any equity sharing arrangement in the redevelopment and this has resolved one of the major sticking points that has delayed agreement on this project.
Works are expected to begin in August 2012 and will initially focus on the redevelopment of the Member's facilities, the installation of an all weather synthetic track and an upgrade of existing training tracks.
This will be followed by the redevelopment of the course proper in July 2013 which will be completely resurfaced and a new drainage system installed to ensure racing on the Gold Coast can continue year-round, no matter the weather.
Racing Minister Tim Mulherin, who told Gold Coast racing fraternity of the deal while officially opening the 2012 Magic Millions, said the $35.4 million upgrade formed part of the record $110 million Racing Industry Capital Development Scheme committed by the Bligh Labor Government to the Queensland racing industry.
“The injection of significant capital expenditure on racing infrastructure is contingent upon Racing Queensland and individual clubs coming to an agreement on how those funds will be spent,” he said.
“The investment of over $110 million in vital infrastructure upgrades by the Bligh Government will ensure we have a world class product well into the future.”