RQ base sale push
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
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.