The Gold Coast Turf Club is a step closer to becoming the ‘Happy Valley’ of Australian racing after receiving key support to light up Aquis Park.
Earlier today, the Palaszczuk Government announced a $31.5 million commitment to the multimillion-dollar redevelopment at Bundall which would deliver a full refurbishment of the racing surfaces, along with lights, an in-field tunnel and an all-weather synthetic track.
“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 raceday,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“Now it needs a turf club to match, which is exactly what a re-elected Palaszczuk Government will be able to deliver.”
Funded out of the Racing Infrastructure Fund, the Gold Coast tracks and lights project is an essential component of the RQ Infrastructure Plan and is expected to deliver increased commercial returns to the club and industry through the creation of new and exciting timeslots, improved racing infrastructure and enhanced amenities for stakeholders.
With the club also committing $5 million to the project, RQ Chairman Steve Wilson AM said today’s announcement was significant for the Queensland racing industry.
“The Gold Coast tracks and lights project is at the heart of RQ’s night racing strategy and is a gamechanger for our industry,” Mr 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 scheduling.”
GCTC Chairman Brett Cook said the announcement was fantastic news for the Club.
“It’s something we have been trying to see accomplished for more than 10 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.”