Turf club waits for dozer's arrival for demolition
ONLY when the dozer rolls into the Ipswich Turf Club will its boss realise the long-awaited redevelopment works are truly under way.
The State Government has allocated $13million to upgrade the Bundamba track.
The grant, which comes from the Racing Queensland infrastructure fund, will finance a new state-of-the-art two-storey building to house jockey and steward rooms on the ground floor and a members' lounge and function centre above.
While minor works have been undertaken since the running of this year's Ipswich Cup in June, club general manager Brett Kitching said major works had not started.
He expected demolition works to begin within months.
"The latest date we've been given is October," he said.
Racing Queensland is working through tenders to appoint a contractor to demolish the old buildings.
Mr Kitching said there had been a number of smaller projects started.
The awning of the pig pen has been removed and temporary facilities built for the stewards and jockeys.
There is also a different arrangement around the parading enclosure and the club's new kitchen is almost finished.
Mr Kitching expects it to open in time for next Friday's race meeting.
He was pleased with the progress of the project but said the major event was yet to start.
"The one we're looking forward to is the demolition of the old buildings and construction getting under way," he said.
"When you see a dozer coming in we'll know we're all cracking on."
He said the redeveloped turf club would be "a new world" for the thousands of people involved in Ipswich racing.
"It's a bit different and an unusual change for a number of people, but we're managing as best we can," he said.
"The new stewards' room and jockey room will be at the standards they deserve.
"We've been here for 130 years and it's a sign we'll be here for a lot longer."