Eagle Farm still waiting for green light on $12 million government loan

An eerie looking Eagle Farm when the track was originally torn up last year.

An eerie looking Eagle Farm when the track was originally torn up last year.

THE new grass at Eagle Farm is taking shape, but there’s still no light at the end of the, ahem, tunnel.

More than 12 months on from the original announcement, the green light still hasn’t been given on the $12 million loan to build the tunnels, meaning a likely return date for racing at the venue is still eons away.

Eagle Farm trainers remain in the dark and with the administration swept aside at Deagon, answers aren’t in easy supply.

Eagle Farm is just another example of how racing is still very much hamstrung by government. The loan, not grant, is to be funded out of racing’s $97.4 million share of the Tatts Group’s 30-year license agreement, but it still gets stuck in bureaucracy.

The deal was all but concluded under the previous government and was ready to be signed off in January.

It was at the same stage of approval as Townsville’s grant for an upgrade, but with the change after the election, Townsville got the go-ahead and Eagle Farm still sits waiting in the wings four months later.

Other projects in limbo are the $15 million grandstand redevelopment at Albion Park and the second phase of redevelopment at the Gold Coast.

It is understood Racing Minister Bill Byrne has confirmed his support for the inclusion of these projects as part of the industry infrastructure fund, but still the industry waits on a final approval.

Further down the line there is also consideration to be given for a new harness racing venue to replace the now defunct Gold Coast and also a $6 million redevelopment for Ipswich.

 

Story courtesy Nathan Exelby Courier Mail  http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/superracing/eagle-farm-still-waiting-for-green-light-on-12-million-government-loan/story-fnii0mrv-1227397760848

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