THE region’s premier sporting precinct, Clifford Park, is set to be revolutionised to remain a centrepiece of Toowoomba’s entertainment portfolio for the next century.
The Toowoomba Turf Club on Sunday announced the commencement of a Master Planning process to future-proof the home of the racing industry on the Darling Downs.
TTC Chairman Kent Woodford said that while Clifford Park had successfully hosted thoroughbred racing for over 155 years, the club must now work with State and Local Government to revitalise the 36-hectare racing precinct, which is located just three-kilometres from the Toowoomba CBD.
“With the support of State and Local Governments and Racing Queensland, the club aims to conceptualise and create a state-of-the-art entertainment precinct that will attract investment and tourism opportunities to the region and grow the thoroughbred racing industry in Toowoomba," he said.
“The club committee is unconditionally committed to continuing thoroughbred racing at Clifford Park, but the location of the facilities and activities within site are all up for consideration as we plan the best use of the site for both racing and development."
Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe MP, who visited the TTC on Sunday as part of the Toowoomba Region Mad Hatter’s Spring Race event, said the State Government was fully in support of race clubs pursuing the vision of self-sufficiency and maximising revenue opportunities at a local level.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Cr Paul Antonio expressed his excitement at the upcoming Master Planning process.
“The racing industry is a hugely valuable industry in our region. It provides an incredible economic stimulus and Council is excited to support the TTC in its ambition to take Clifford Park into the future,” Cr Antonio said.
Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell agreed, stating that many successful racing precincts had been realised through a considered master planning process.
“Racing Queensland is delighted to provide support and expertise to the TTC for their Master Planning process," he said.
“We support all clubs having a clear vision for the future, including the potential for generating non-racing revenue, which will help support racing’s long-term viability and growth."
TTC Chief Executive Blair Odgers said a public expression of interest call would commence the planning process and has invited interested parties to contact the club.
“It’s a unique opportunity for our club to plan broadly for the future of Clifford Park. We’d welcome the opportunity for experienced companies, club members and the wider public to discuss a number of opportunities that could present on a site such as Clifford Park Racecourse," he said.
“We recognise that most successful precinct developments enjoy benefit from joint-venture partnerships, and the TTC would welcome that knowledge and experience as we Master Plan for the next century of racing on the Darling Downs."
Interested parties can contact the club via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.