REVEALED: The next sporting venue set to receive funding
GLADSTONE sporting and recreation precincts continue to sit at the forefront of community growth with new funding provided to one of the town's most popular venues.
Gladstone Turf Club is the latest recipient of State Government funding with $195,000 committed to infrastructure upgrades as part of a $3.9million country racing infrastructure package shared between 55 Queensland race clubs.
The money will be used to replace the 400m tower, main judges' and camera tower, track repairs and the replacement of the inside running rail. It is hoped some of the smaller upgrades will be completed before the running of the Gladstone Cup on August 10.
Gladstone Turf Club president Dave Weinert said it was a huge boost for the club to meet safety standards in their operations both on and off the track.
"We've chased help for a long time here and it's great to see the Government, with the support of Queensland racing, are allocating the funds not just to Gladstone but across the whole state,” he said.
"This infrastructure money helps upgrade the facility we've had to fund entirely ourselves over the last 15 years.
"The climate here with steel posts... the salt air and water and sand gets to that sort of thing which we'll alleviate with the new running rail, that certainly makes it safer for the horses.
"It certainly does make the track a lot safer for participants and it ensures the longevity of the place.”
Mr Weinert said the upgrades may also lead to a higher calibre of jockeys and participants coming to Gladstone on race days.
The funding is another coup for the region's sporting facilities, with two new tennis courts unveiled at the Gladstone Tennis and Squash Association last week.
There is also funding approved for a driving range at Gladstone Golf Club under round seven of the Get Playing Places and Spaces program, and late last year eight other sports clubs welcomed about $43,000 in funds from the Get Going Clubs program.
State member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the vital upgrades to recreational venues helped volunteers to keep their fundraising on track.
"The committee here has done a fabulous job, they're all volunteers, there's not too many people that do the work they do for a couple of beers and a pat on the back,” he said.
"For us to be able to help with infrastructure, the money they raise on race days can now go to improving the facilities for the patrons and putting on events.”