› THE battle lines have been drawn in the arm wrestle for the future of Albion Park.
Racing Queensland’s plans to sell the land and free up funds for other developments, revealed last month, were countered by Harness Racing kingmaker Kevin Seymour at the weekend.
Seymour’s grand plan is to keep Albion Park, build a gaming facility, new grandstand, sporting fields inside the track and later residential towers.
His proposal is for the entire project to be self-funding and earn revenue that would be tipped back into prizemoney.
Racing Queensland said in a statement on Saturday that it was “pleased to see the industry responding to the expression of interest process”.
In dispute is just who is the rightful owner of Albion Park. Seymour is claiming the moral high ground for the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, which owned the premises up until the merger of the three codes.
RQ believes it is the lawful owner.
Given the value of the asset, it’s going to be an interesting stoush.
This is from an earlier thread which is background to the current situation.
Ownership of Albion Park Race Way
Tuesday, 1 July 2003: The transfer of the $23 million Albion Park Raceway to the harness and greyhound racing codes is a milestone for the racing industry in Queensland, Racing Minister Merri Rose said today.
Ms Rose said the transfer of ownership from the Government to joint ownership of the Queensland Harness Racing Board and the Greyhound Racing Authority, effective from today, would provide the two codes with a strong asset base.
“Albion Park is the major facility for both codes and the transfer of ownership will give the codes greater control over their destinies,” she said.
“This is a major transfer of a valuable asset to the racing industry and is a clear signal of the Government’s support for an independent and viable industry.”
Ms Rose said Albion Park Raceway had been the recipient of considerable racing industry funds.
“Albion Park was purchased from the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club in 1982 and redeveloped as the premier harness racing facility in Australia,” she said.
“The Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club transferred to Albion Park in 1992 as a joint tenant and both the Queensland Harness Racing Board and the Greyhound Racing Authority have been tenants of the facility.”
Ms Rose thanked Albion Park Trust Chair Don Davies and his staff for their efficient operation of the raceway and helping facilitate the transfer of the complex.
“The professionalism shown by the Trust is a credit to the Trust and its staff,” she said.
Queensland Harness Racing Board Chair Keith Hamburger and Greyhound Racing Authority Chair Phil Bennett welcomed the transfer.
“This is a major asset for both codes and allows us to better control the future direction of both codes,” Mr Hamburger said.
Mr Bennett said the raceway was probably the most utilised racetrack in Australia and the ownership by the two codes would ensure that this would continue. It also presented an opportunity for the two codes to secure their futures.
Information: Michael Duff 3224 2007 / 0408 723 705 or David Smith 3225 1005
Brett Schimming (Harness Racing Board) 3262 7733
Darren Beavis (Greyhound Racing Authority) 3262 7800
ALBION PARK RACEWAY OVERVIEW
Albion Park had been used for gallops racing for approximately 100 years before the last meeting was held on 30 December 1981.
The Albion Park racecourse was purchased by the Racing Development Corporation (RDC) from the Brisbane Amateur Turf Club (BATC) in 1982 for $9 million.
The acquisition was undertaken by the RDC to facilitate the redevelopment of the venue for harness racing.
The disposal of the venue by the BATC allowed it to finance a new grandstand at Doomben racecourse and to carry out improvements at Deagon racecourse.
Trustees of Albion Park Raceway are appointed under the Racing Venues Development Act 1982. The Trust is a statutory body within the meaning given in the Financial Administration and Audit Act 1977
The Trust acts as landlord of the Albion Park Paceway, maintaining and operating the complex primarily for harness racing by the Albion Park Harness Racing Club on Saturday nights, and greyhound racing by the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club on Monday and Thursday nights.
The current Trustees comprise an independent Chair and the QHRB and GRA Chairs ie, 3 trustees.
On proclamation of the Racing Legislation Amendment Act 1998 on 1 July 1999, the State of Queensland assumed ownership of Albion Park.
In June 2002, Cabinet resolved that the Albion Park Raceway asset was to be transferred from ownership by the State of Queensland, to the Greyhound Racing Authority and Queensland Harness Racing Board as tenants in common in equal shares.
The Albion Park Paceway is an aggregation of 23 individual titles providing for a total area of 17.3321 hectares.
Order in Council made on 22 April 1992 amended Lot 1 on Registered Plan No 142024 in area by excluding from the control of the Trustees an area of 8,766m2, enabling the land to be utilised as the site for establishment of the Racing Science Centre.
The bulk of the land area is zoned "Sport and Recreation".
The 2001-2002 Financial Statements for the Trustees of the Albion Park Paceway valued the land, buildings and improvements and plant and equipment of the Trust at approx. $23 million.
Back in 2010 the QHRB took RQL to the Supreme Court in an effort to stop the proposed sale of Albion Park...the issue was QHRB's claim that RQL chairman Robert Bentley gave an assurance Albion Park would not be sold and would continue as a harness racing track ...it appears that case was not taken to finality so the likelihood is that the APHRC will need to institute legal action if they are unable to convince RQ not to proceed with their intention to sell the track.