By Jeremy Sollars
The Southern Downs Regional Council and Cherrabah Homestead resort east of Warwick have both been unsuccessful in making the shortlist for new harness and greyhound racing facilities in regional Queensland.
As reported previously in the Free Times, Racing Queensland earlier this year called for expressions of interest (EOIs) for potential locations for new harness and greyhound racing facilities in non-metropolitan areas.
Both the council and Cherrabah submitted EOIs – with the council’s suggested location being the old Allora Racecourse – but a consultant for Racing Queensland has confirmed to the Free Times neither has made the shortlist.
Matt Buckley of corporate project consultancy ACORPP – which handled assessment of the EOIs on behalf of Racing Queensland – this week said shortlisted locations did not include any sites “west of the range”, including the Allora Racecourse and Cherrabah, “as they fall outside of the preferred locality, and other options are currently being pursued”.
He also said locations put forward in Toowoomba “were also excluded”.
Mr Buckley told the Free Times last month it was Racing Queensland’s “intent to work with the local community wherever the new facilities are located”.
“They (Racing Queensland) have a significant budget to invest which will be of significant benefit to the community which secures this infrastructure”.
The final shortlist of potential locations has not yet been publicly released by ACORPP.
A spokesman for the Southern Downs Regional Council said no comment could be made at this stage as “council has not been contacted regarding the Racing Queensland EOI process.
Comment was sought from the China-based owners of Cherrabah Homestead Resort but no response was available by the time of printing this week.