Evergreen Turf wins multimillion-dollar contract for Eagle Farm track redevelopment
EVERGREEN Turf has won the multimillion-dollar contract for the Eagle Farm track redevelopment with work set to begin in the next few weeks following a two-month delay.
The Victorian-based company, which installed the top-class surface at Melbourne’s AAMI Park, beat StrathAyr for the $10 million contract and the announcement will be made by Racing Queensland this week.
The $10 million will be spent on upgrading the out-of-date track, including irrigation and drainage work.
The $22 million Eagle Farm upgrade announced in June is split in two and the successful bidder for the remaining $12 million contract on works to the infield is also expected to be announced soon.
The track surface is likely to remain kikuyu grass and a Bulletin source confirmed work would start soon.
“I would be surprised if work wasn’t underway in a couple of weeks of the announcement,” the source said.
This week’s impending announcement comes after the project has been grounded ever since the upgrade was announced on Stradbroke Day on June 7.
Today marks nine weeks since Eagle Farm hosted its last race meeting despite the course proper being used regularly for barrier trials during this time.
RQ has been criticised for not continuing to race on the track during this time and in turn protect Doomben, which will shoulder most of the metropolitan racing load while Eagle Farm is out of action.
Racing Queensland chief executive Darren Condon conceded they could have managed the transition better.
“I’ve never known anyone to be wrong in hindsight,” he said.
“We obviously planned for a date and worked towards that date.
“Some people will in hindsight sit there and say you should have done this or you should have done that … but I don’t really worry about what we should have done and I’m focused on getting things right.”
Condon said it was too early to tell whether Eagle Farm could be used for next year’s winter carnival (May/June) but it is considered very unlikely.