The State Budget will fund a $6 million Country and Regional Capital Works Program with spending across all three racing codes from all regions across Queensland.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said the package includes $4.4 million allocated to address infrastructure needs raised through a submission process which invited race clubs to bid for funds.
Ms Grace said Racing Queensland (RQ) also identified a further $1.6 million of projects through an extensive review process, with a total of 113 clubs benefiting.
“I am pleased to be able to approve this funding program which will begin to address infrastructure requirements immediately with phase one to be completed within 18 months,” Ms Grace said.
“Our clubs in country and regional areas are a key part of their local economies while also providing a strong social connection. They need to be supported and I know these projects will make a difference.Ms Grace said each submission was assessed for its ability to improve racing operations, enhance industry returns and deliver better workplace health and safety and animal welfare outcomes.
“Each racing region will benefit from this new funding, with project examples including:
- Recycled and water harvesting projects in Mackay and Rockhampton;
- Transportable Starting Barriers to be shared between a number of thoroughbred clubs in the Central West and Downs country regions;
- Upgrades and replacement of racing infrastructure including stewards’ towers, running rails, barrier stalls and starting boxes at code tracks located across the regions;
- Animal welfare equipment and amenities upgrades across the codes and regions; and
- Track surface upgrades across the codes and the regions.”
Racing Queensland CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said the Country and Regional Capital Works Program was for projects under $1 million with a separate process for those over that amount.
“The process was detailed and collaborative to ensure fairness and a level playing field for all involved,” Dr Forbes said
“Racing facilities were visited across the state with interviews conducted and venue assessment reports produced. We also consulted with industry stakeholders regarding club and industry infrastructure requirements as well as conducting analysis of previous club infrastructure investment to identify trends.”
RQ received 159 project requests of less than $1 million. Of those, 90 have been provisionally approved as priority projects. In addition, RQ determined another 40 projects have merit however they did not meet the animal welfare or workplace safety requirement or require further work before being assessed.
Following Ministerial approval of the package, RQ will undertake due diligence before proceeding with project implementation. RQ will project manage the infrastructure upgrades to ensure efficiencies of cost and scale while also maintaining regular reporting of project stages. The fund includes a contingency amount of $500,000.
Thoroughbred Region No of venues Amount
Far North Queensland 10 $512,000
Leichardt 13 $395,000
North West Queensland 14 $527,000
Capricornia 10 $657,000
Central West 13 $313,000
Downs 12 $622,000
Eastern Downs 17 $551,000
Southeast Queensland 15 $697,000
Harness Total 3 $96,000
Greyhound Total 6 $1.16 million