Townsville Turf Club races towards recovery date

The finish line is in sight for the Townsville Turf Club flood-recovery redevelopment after Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe inspected the site today during its regular Thursday race day.

Mr Hinchliffe said works were on track for the February completion date and he was looking forward to being part of the official opening ceremonies for the $12 million project.

“Since the club and grounds were devastated during this year’s February floods, it’s been a long haul back to this point,” he said.

“But it’s fantastic to be here today and get a real picture of what the precinct will look like when this stage is completed.

“Today’s turnout shows that confidence in the Queensland racing industry is really positive, and a big part of that is thanks to the prize money injections from the Palaszczuk Government.

“Quality prize money means better returns for those involved in the industry, and better wages and job certainty for the thousands of Queenslanders employed in the industry.”

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the upgrade and refurbishment of the turf club was a vital step to ensuring the health of racing in regional Queensland.

“And I know the Palaszczuk Government is committed to making sure we have a vibrant racing sector right across Queensland,” she said.

“Here in Townsville, Cluden Park is a big part of the city’s racing culture and the new and updated facilities will become, in their own right, an important part of that history.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the new jockey rooms would be better able to accommodate the growing number of women joining the sports ranks and the revamped members’ grandstand was already a sight to behold.

“I’ve also had the chance to have very positive discussions with Townsville Turf Club representatives about how we can use the land that’s not essential to the racing industry in other ways to continue to bring both old and new patrons to the precinct.”

Townsville Turf Club manager Malcolm Petrofski welcomed the Minister’s visit and said he hoped it gave him a greater appreciation of the club’s experiences after the floods.

“It is important that the industry participants have been given this opportunity to talk with the Minister and local members firsthand about the issues they are encountering,” he said.

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