Rosehill Racecourse proposals to 'take some time'

The sale of Rosehill Racecourse to the NSW State Government for a housing estate will not be a near term process, if at all, with Australian Turf Club members advised that further to the Club lodging an 'Initial Submission & Preliminary Assessment' the State Government must then formulate a ’Detailed proposal’.

Australian Turf Club (ATC) chairman Peter McGauran said in a communication to ATC members that this next step ‘will take some time’.

The ATC is not the only industry stakeholder in the process with McGauran advising that while the ATC will ‘will undertake Due Diligence involving a range of financial and planning experts, members and racing stakeholders’, Racing NSW will undertake their own analysis.

Racing NSW will be paying for the cost of the ATC’s Due Diligence.

“The concept of a new premium racecourse, a new training centre of excellence, improvements to training and racing infrastructure, and ATC Members and spectator facilities will be central to the Due Diligence,” said McGauran.

“In coming months, we can provide greater detail and certainty around many of the topics raised at Member and trainer forums.”

McGauran said that any vote by ATC members on a proposed sale of the racecourse would be ‘later this year.’

In February, just days after ATC members at a forum questioned the ATC Board decision to sell the racecourse, the NSW Premier Chris Minns publicly stated that the development cannot proceed if the ATC members do not agree to the sale.

“That decision [to develop Rosehill] will have to be decided by members of the ATC, not the government,” Minns said.

Minns told budget estimates at that time that he was “hopeful” that the government could progress negotiations with the ATC, but conceded “irreconcilable differences” could stop the ambitious plans for Rosehill.

With an extra Metro station likely to be required for the Rosehill housing complex there must also be doubts about the NSW State Government's funding for the extension to the Metro line.

Minns has acknowledged that an additional station on the Metro West line from the Sydney CBD to Westmead, “was not a done deal”.

When the sale was announced in December, 2023, a figure of $5 billion was mentioned as the sale result for the ATC, which was to be spent on a new racecourse and upgrading other ATC facilities.

An example of the cost of a new state-of-the-art racecourse with training facilities and grandstands is the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Conghua Racecourse in China with an all up cost of around US$3 billion. Those costs are based on a Chinese land and construction cost base and not a Sydney land and construction cost base.

With the cost of finding a suitable new site for a racecourse and training facilities in the Sydney basin, let alone building a course and training facilities, the $5 billion would not be 'banked' as an ongoing investment fund to future proof the industry in Sydney.

The Winx statue at Rosehill, picture ThoroughbredNEWS