By Brad Davidson @brad_davvo
APPROVAL for stage two of the Eagle Farm track redevelopment is imminent with Racing Minister Bill Byrne on Friday morning reconfirming the State Government’s commitment to the project.
The Eagle Farm redevelopment has been a massive talking point in Queensland racing in recent weeks as the project has been delayed while the Brisbane Racing Club wait for approval for a $12 million loan from the State Government to install two tunnels under the track.
And while the loan has not been approved just yet, the Gold Coast Bulletin understands an announcement on this is expected to be made as soon as next week.
The State Government has released a media release on Friday morning claiming that — “following a meeting of key government agencies, Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club this week, key issues were resolved and a path was mapped out to progress the important project”.
Byrne said the State Government was committed to getting back to racing at Eagle Farm as soon as possible.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with the Brisbane Racing Club to make this redevelopment a success,” Byrne said.
“We all want racing back at Eagle Farm — our state’s premier track — as quickly as possible. “This is a significant investment in the future of our racing industry here in Queensland, it requires careful consideration and the following of due process.
“The meeting I had convened this week between the State Government, Racing Queensland and Brisbane Racing Club was the first time in the long history of this project that all interested government agencies had sat down with the proponent.
“The Palaszczuk Government means it when we say we’re open for business and that we’ll run open and consultative government. We demonstrated that with this week’s meeting.”
BRC chief executive Dave Whimpey said the meeting was a positive step forward for the project.
“(The) Brisbane Racing Club was very encouraged to be able to meet with all government stakeholders this week,” Whimpey said.
“We’re encouraged that there is alignment between stakeholders to see this project commenced, following the appropriate scrutiny of the proposal.
“I have a great sense of confidence coming out of this week’s meeting … and we all have a desire to see racing back at Eagle Farm in time for next year’s winter carnival.”