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SBD Global/September 25, 2017/Finance

Racing Queensland Launches A$200M Infrastructure Plan Including Night Racing

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Night horse racing will be introduced on the Gold Coast and two greyhound tracks will be opened in a A$200M ($158M) "plan to stimulate the industry," according to Daryl Passmore of the COURIER MAIL. An infrastructure plan, released by Racing Queensland, "sets out how the biggest cash injection for the sport in the state’s history will be spent." Priority projects for the next two years "include a top-class lighting system for the Gold Coast Turf Club that will enable night-time events, seen as a big drawcard for locals and tourists." Racing Queensland said that it was "close to selecting two sites to drive the growth of greyhounds in the southeast: a purpose-built replacement home for Ipswich and a new venue for the Brisbane club." Locations being considered include Rocklea and Bundamba. Racing Queensland CEO Eliot Forbes said that the plan "would lay the foundation for the industry’s success and growth of all three codes for future generations." He said, "Our vision to connect people through the thrill of racing can only become reality if we deliver on the wide range of infrastructure needs and grow racing and non-racing revenue." The long-term vision for trotting is to "build two key locations." One will be a "state-of-the-art harness racing facility that will serve as the code's peak metropolitan venue." The other will be "a landmark secondary racing and training venue." The plan has identified A$198M ($156M) of projects. The Racing Infrastructure Fund, held by Queensland Treasury, has A$120M ($95M) available -- A$63M ($50M) now and the rest between '20 and '23. Racing Queensland aims to meet the A$78M ($61.5M) shortfall between the RIF and the infrastructure spending target "through increased betting, commercial agreements and developing assets" (COURIER MAIL, 9/22).
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