Flood damage to Callaghan Park comparable to 2011
By Darryn Nufer
THE damage to facilities at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park race course is comparable to that caused during the 2011 Fitzroy River flood.
A clean-up operation is in full-swing today after floodwaters, which had cut access to the race course for days, receded.
“The damage is on par with the 2011 flood here,” Callaghan Park course manager Richard Harris said this morning.
Rockhampton Jockey Club CEO Tony Fenlon said it could be weeks before the race course was back operating normally after many facilities including offices, bars and the race and training tracks (race track pictured) went under water.
Fenlon said the club was looking into alternatives for trainers who have been unable to use Callaghan Park for trackwork since floodwaters shut down the race course.
While the RJC has transferred its next three TAB race meetings to other Central Queensland venues, including tomorrow’s eight-race card to be held at Yeppoon, Fenlon said the aim was to be back racing at Callaghan Park in May.
That would be a good result as the club embarks on a busy period of racing which includes the annual Rockhampton Grammar School meeting on Saturday, May 6, followed by the Central Queensland Amateurs Race Day on Saturday, May 13.
It also spells good news for the Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival in June which won’t be affected.
The RJC is promoting free entry to tomorrow’s race meeting at Yeppoon’s Keppel Park along with school holiday activities for the kids.
As well as free face painting, children will be encouraged to put their creative skills to the test and enter the Easter Bonnet Competition with prizes for the best “millinery” on course.
Gates at Keppel Park tomorrow will open at 10.30am with the first of eight races set to jump at 12.53pm.