The QLD Government has released $31.5 million from the industry-funded Racing Infrastructure Fund, financed from the exclusive wagering license fee paid to the State, to be invested into the redevelopment of the Gold Coast Turf Club.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the project would include an all-weather synthetic track, a full refurbishment of the racing surfaces, lights and the development of a tunnel.
“Most importantly, the redevelopment is odds on to support about 330 jobs during the construction phase alone,” he said.
“There are already almost 1100 jobs on the Gold Coast alone that depend on the racing industry, from trainers and jockeys through to hospitality workers, farriers and equine nurses.
“The Gold Coast is one of Queensland’s most magnificent tourism drawcards and the turf club is already home to the internationally renowned Magic Millions Carnival, including the January yearling sale and its race day,” he said.
Gold Coast Turf Club chair Brett Cook said the announcement was fantastic news for the Club.
“It’s something we have been trying to see accomplished for more than ten years,” he said.
“This will be a massive boost not just for the Club, but for tourism, jobs and the local economy.
“We couldn’t be happier as a Club to see the project progressing.”
Recognising the importance of the Gold Coast to the Qld tourism portfolio, it was announced that the money for the redevelopment would be so it can reflect the Gold Coast to the world, and would be modelled on the successful Happy Valley in Hong Kong racing system.
A biased and enthusiastic racing Queensland Chairman, Steve Wilson said, ““We want the Gold Coast to be our very own Happy Valley – showcasing the city to the world by unlocking new and exciting timeslots – whilst establishing itself as the most impressive night racing venue in Australia.
“This will give visitors and locals at Australia’s favourite holiday destination the chance to have a night out whilst loving the thrill of our thoroughbred superstars sprinting down the upgraded track.
“Just as importantly, the all-weather synthetic track will provide the Gold Coast with a much-needed wet-weather racing option, which will increase wagering returns through greater surety – and flexibility – in race schedule