In their monthly meeting, the Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) board considered a proposal drafted by the Ipswich Turf Club (ITC) and Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club (IGRC).
The proposal consists of two main components.
The first component of the proposal is to construct a tunnel under the existing tracks to allow car parking and other services to be located on the infield. The land fronting Brisbane Road would then be available for commercial development with the view of making the turf club financially self-sufficient.
The second component put forward is the proposed construction of a new one turn greyhound track inside the thoroughbred track, which would also see the IGRC relocated to the Bundamba racecourse. The aforementioned tunnel would facilitate the relocation by providing ease of access to the infield.
The introduction of the greyhound facility will have no effect on the current thoroughbred racing and training activities of the ITC.
ITC chairman Wayne Patch believes the proposal will guarantee the future of both organisations.
“We have been trying for some years to achieve the realisation of the commercial value of this proposal and I am absolutely delighted for both the ITC and the IGRC,” he said.
“The IGRC tenure at the showgrounds is due to expire in two years, and the centre of our track has been underutilised for years Therefore, it is an ideal opportunity to support the racing industry by joining the two codes together at one racetrack.”
IGRC chairman Robert Essex is equally enthusiastic about the proposal being approved.
“I think it is great news, it will certainly continue the longevity of the IGRC,” he said.
“It is also exciting for the greyhound industry in Queensland because we certainly need a one turn track to race on.”
The RQL board resolved that this proposal had significant merit and believes partnering the two clubs together at the one racecourse, further supports the concept of venue sustainability.
Therefore, RQL will immediately make an application under the recently published Industry Infrastructure Strategy (IIS) for $1 million to be allocated to the project to allow the detailed design, regulatory applications and other technical studies to be progressed.
RQL looks forward to working with the combined thoroughbred and greyhound industries in Ipswich on this new endeavour.