QHC enters community consultation

The next phase of the Queensland Harness Centre is underway with community consultation commencing last week.

Situated at Norwell on the northern end of the Gold Coast, the QHC will soon become the new home for metropolitan harness racing in the Sunshine State, replacing Albion Park which will be utilised as a venue for Brisbane 2032.

With animal care at the core of design and construction, the state-of-the-art facility will be designed in a way that celebrates and showcases the amphitheatre of harness racing, whilst maximising Queensland’s sub-tropical climate and paying homage to the code’s rich racing history.

Concepts under consideration at the QHC include:

  • A state-of-the-art track designed for fast, fair racing with horse care at the forefront;
  • Contemporary patron facilities that seamlessly connect with racing infrastructure such as raceday stabling to ensure a racing experience when on track;
  • Stabling for more than 150 horses on-course (constructed in stages so the venue grows with usage):
  • Consideration to cater for different trainer preferences (eg: barns or walk-in, walk-out stables);
  • Training tracks, in addition to the main racetrack, to enable flexibility and to ensure training and racing can be staged concurrently; and
  • The installation of training aids such as aqua exercise (horse swim), treadmills, and walkers.

Following extensive industry consultation in the first half of 2023, RQ has commenced community consultation ahead of submitting a Ministerial Infrastructure Designation application next month.

Upon approval, construction on the QHC can commence in 2024.

“It is imperative that our industry understands that Racing Queensland is committed to delivering this project,” RQ CEO Jason Scott said.

“In years gone by, Albion Park was renowned for being the speed pacing capital of Australia and we would like to deliver a track that is equally exciting at Norwell.

“Whether that’s through 1000m track or a 1200m track with a chute, all options are on the table as long as it provides fast, fair and exciting racing.”

With harness racing now required to relocate from Albion Park by 2025, RQ is working with the Queensland Government and its agencies on expediting the delivery of the QHC to ensure as little disruption to the harness code as possible, while ensuring the project meets the industry’s needs for decades to come.

Further updates on the project and timelines will be provide in the coming months.

Click here for more information on the Queensland Harness Centre or to have your say.

Source: Racing Queensland