The Gold Coast Turf Club has grand plans for its trackside lifestyle resort.

Gold Coast Turf Club has lodged a DA with Gold Coast City Council for three residential towers of up to 19 storeys each as part of its planned $370m Sunlight Lifestyle Precinct, to be developed in partnership with track naming rights owner Aquis Australia. The development will feature 557 residential trackside apartments and 63 dedicated short-stay serviced apartments.

Gold Coast Turf Club CEO Steve Lines said he hoped the precinct would become a world-class entertainment and tourism hub. Among its key features are a luxury hotel, infinity pools, retail spaces, restaurants and bars and a two-level, rooftop Sky Garden overlooking the racetrack, as well as the residential towers.

The proposed 1.8ha Aquis development is planned for Racecourse Drive, on the site of the horse tie-up stalls.

“As we move towards the $44bn tourism target set out in the 2032 strategy we are keen to look at the landscape around the infrastructure being built here on the Gold Coast,” Destination Gold Coast interim CEO Karen Bolinger said. “All things are a possibility as we grow our economic impact and new tourism product will be needed to support that.”

Aquis Australia is a thoroughbred racing and breeding farm in Queensland and its CEO, Justin Fung, is the son of billionaire Hong Kong developer Tony Fung. Aquis entered the Australian market after acquiring a parcel of properties, formerly owned by Nathan Tinkler, at Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland in 2015.

In Queensland regional racing news, the Palaszczuk Government has announced an increase in the funding stream set to replace the existing Country Racing Program in Queensland.

The new $3 million funding program has been set up to provide country racing clubs with a welcome boost in support for assets and infrastructure.

“The Palaszczuk Government backs country racing because we know how much it contributes to the social and economic life of so many regional communities in Queensland,” Racing Minister Grace Grace said at the Gordonvale Races on the weekend where the funding announcement was made.

“Since 2018 our previous Country Racing Program (CRP) has supported over 300 infrastructure projects at clubs in every corner of the state.

“I am delighted that the new Country Club Asset Funding available will provide greater support for clubs to meet their needs going forward and continue to support hundreds of jobs across regional Queensland.”

In the Far North Queensland region alone, almost 30 projects were approved under the CRP, ranging from a half-million-dollar track renovation at Innisfail Turf Club to an almost $17,000 extension of the jockey and steward’s room at the Gordonvale Turf Club.

Applications close June 5, 2023. To download a copy of the guideline, click here.

 Racing Minister Grace Grace and Speaker and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, at the Gordonvale Races on the weekend where the funding announcement was made.

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