Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) will submit a development application to Brisbane City Council within the next week to turn Deagon into a first class harness and greyhound facility for all of Queensland.
RQL chairman Bob Bentley said today planning work is well advanced on the $39.9 million facility and subject to necessary approvals work is slated to start in April 2012.
“Deagon will answer the industry’s call for a metropolitan standard facility for greyhound and harness codes by delivering modern racing and training facilities for both codes,” Mr Bentley said.
“The majority of harness racing people want a new 1400 metre track and some people conveniently forget that the greyhounds, who had a 50 per cent stake in Albion Park, also want out of Albion Park if a better alternative is available.
“Deagon will be converted to a modern dual purpose facility for greyhound and harness racing. There will be a 1400 metre harness track and two greyhound tracks; a one turn and two turn greyhound track.
“The greyhound and harness public amenity would consist of a back-to-back structure so that the greyhound racing tracks are not located inside of the harness racing track, as is the case at Albion Park.”
RQL today met with the thoroughbred trainers currently using Deagon to outline assistance the control body will provide to help them relocate to either Eagle Farm or the Sunshine Coast March 31, 2012.
“Deagon does not have the space to accommodate the trainers because a new harness and greyhound facility as well as the Deagon Deviation does not leave room for thoroughbred training,” he said.
“RQL has negotiated a deal with the Brisbane Racing Club for an extra 70 on-course stables, 30 tie-up stalls and two horse walkers for the current Deagon trainers at Eagle Farm.
“Additionally, to ensure the training facilities provided at Eagle Farm and Doomben are positioned to cater for the additional workload, Racing Queensland has made a financial contribution to the Brisbane Racing Club to upgrade the main grass training tracks at both Eagle Farm and Doomben.
“RQL will provide the ability for trainers with four or more horses historically trained at Deagon to take advantage of on-course stabling at Eagle Farm (capped at 70 horses) and the Sunshine Coast (capped at 100 horses).
“Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club will waive specific fees until June 30, 2013, to assist trainers during this period.
“I understand that some trainers are upset they have to move and I feel for them but RQL won’t shy away from tough decisions to help the entire industry.”