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Ipswich MP backs redevelopment of city’s racecourse

IPSWICH MP IAN Berry is backing Ipswich Turf Club's plans for a multi-million dollar redevelopment of its racetrack at Bundamba.

As the QT reported last week, peak body Racing Queensland has approved a joint proposal from Ipswich Turf Club and Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club.

The first component is building a tunnel under the track and moving the stables to the infield.

The second component is building a greyhound track inside the thoroughbred track.

Racing Queensland says that would leave the land fronting Brisbane Rd available for a commercial development with the aim of making the turf club financially self-sufficient.

The redevelopment, first proposed in 2008, seemed to have been scratched when the LNP refused to back it before the State Election.

Then 12 months ago, the LNP chose not to commit to the $6 million the Labor Party offered to get the project started.

But since then, support in Campbell Newman's government has grown for the redevelopment of Ipswich's most popular sporting venue.

Mr Berry has visited Ipswich racetrack several times as Member for Ipswich to talk with Ipswich Turf Club chairman Wayne Patch.

"I support the Ipswich Turf Club in developing a business case to achieve financial sustainability," Mr Berry said.

"A financially sustainable Ipswich Turf Club means more local jobs, which is good for the Ipswich economy.

"Ipswich Turf Club now has to work in conjunction with Racing Queensland to make an application under the Industry Infrastructure Strategy."

Racing Queensland said the proposal had significant merit.

It said it would immediately make an application for $1 million to allow the detailed design, regulatory applications and other technical studies to be progressed.

Mr Patch said last week he believed the proposal would guarantee the future of both organisations.

IGRC chairman Robert Essex was equally enthusiastic, saying it would certainly continue the longevity of the club.

Topics:  ian berry ipswich greyhound racing club ipswich turf club redevelopment



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