RQ base sale push

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BRAD DAVID­SON

THE Queens­land Race­horse Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has called on Rac­ing Queens­land to sell its Deagon head­quar­ters in a bid to cover a pro­jected $ 28 mil­lion loss this fi­nan­cial year.

The call comes as fears re­main that prize­money lev­els could be slashed across the state when RQ in­tro­duces cost- cut­ting mea­sures from Jan­uary 1 in a bid to cut costs.

RQ in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Hall re­fused to say whether prize­money lev­els would be tar­geted next year but 61.5 per cent of RQ’s ex­pen­di­ture last fi­nan­cial year was prize­money and it would foolish to sug­gest this area would not be af­fected.

Deagon is an up- and­com­ing sub­urb

KERRINA KING

But QROA chief ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cer Kerrina King feels there is another so­lu­tion to solve RQ’s big debt rather than cut­ting Queens­land prize­money lev­els which re­ceived a much- needed boost only last year.

“The in­dus­try has at its dis­posal a cer­tain num­ber of phys­i­cal as­sets worth a lot of money and Deagon is one of those and in the opin­ion of many of us it’s a non­pro­duc­tive as­set that could re­alise a very large amount of money,” King said.

“Deagon is an up- and- com­ing sub­urb and there is a lot of land there and the money from a sale such as that could do a lot to re­float the in­dus­try.”

The Deagon prop­erty, about 16km from the Bris­bane CBD in the city’s north­ern sub­urbs, is used pri­mar­ily as a base for RQ and a train­ing fa­cil­ity these days but about 140 horses are still trained out of the Race­course Rd prop­erty.

The prop­erty, which is about 35ha, also hosts thor­ough­bred trial ses­sions but hasn’t been used as a reg­u­lar race­track years.

A rep­utable com­mer­cial agent in Bris­bane, who does not want to be named, es­ti­mated the prop­erty would be worth about $ 35 mil­lion and he claims it “would be highly sought af­ter” be­cause it doesn’t flood easily.

And King feels the time is right for RQ to pack up and move for the good of the in­dus­try.

“As we move for­ward with the re­de­vel­op­ment at Ea­gle Farm that would be the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the Bris­bane Rac­ing Club to re­coup some money by selling or rent­ing some land to RQ to build their head­quar­ters there,” she said.

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