The Palaszczuk Government has approved $2.5 million from the Racing Infrastructure Fund (RIF) to be invested as part of a $7 million replacement of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club’s synthetic track.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the upgraded track was a great example of what the RIF could deliver for racing clubs.
“Through the Government’s exclusive wagering agreement with TAB, we have created a revenue stream for investment in Queensland racing clubs creating infrastructure that:
- contributes to the growth and sustainability of Queensland racing
- assists the industry to generate commercial income; and
- creates enduring community benefits from long-term infrastructure.
“We know the Sunshine Coast Turf Club generates a lot of income from training facilities, but the current synthetic track is 12 years old and showing its age.
“By working together with SCTC and the Sunshine Coast Racing Unit Trust, this investment will improve safety for horses and riders alike.”
Mr Hinchliffe said that replacing the synthetic track would have wider benefits for thoroughbred racing throughout southeast Queensland.
“A new synthetic track can stand up to a heavy workload than is possible on turf tracks, able to deal just as easily with too much water or not enough,” he said.
“That means we will be able to lean on the Sunshine Coast to carry more meetings when renovations are being undertaken at other tracks, or when meetings might otherwise be abandoned due to weather.
“Racing Queensland believes the ability to reschedule meetings to the Sunshine Coast that would otherwise have been abandoned could generate an additional $6 million in wagering turnover.”
Sunshine Coast Turf Club chair Peter Boyce said the new track would give the club a point of difference from other venues, as it means it could be used during wet weather.
“We have 400 horses using the track every day, so this is funding for an essential upgrade and most appreciated,” he said.
“The surface needs to be replaced urgently – it’s a racing track as well as a training track so all participants will benefit from it.
“The important thing is that it’s not just a track for us – it’s a track for the industry as well.”