handover of Ascot Park

Monday, 10 September 2018

THE Brisbane Racing Club took another significant step towards the transformation of Eagle Farm with an official handover of Ascot Park to mark the end of the club’s use of the site as the members’ car park.

When racing resumes at Eagle Farm in the coming months members – and the public - will have access to parking infield with access off Nudgee Road through a tunnel to what will be the main entrance to the track. Racegoers arriving at Eagle Farm by various modes of transport such as bus, rail, taxi etc at the Lancaster – Racecourse Road access will still be able to enter the course through the traditional gates.

Despite the BRC formally handing back Ascot Park to the Brisbane City Council, chairman Neville Bell said this area will remain a vital part of the attraction of the Eagle Farm precinct to the community. “We are delighted the City Council has drawn up impressive plans to present Ascot Park as a vibrant green space area for the enjoyment of Brisbane residents,’’ Mr Bell said. “BRC members have been fortunate to have parking access adjacent to the racecourse over so many years and the park has been admired and utilised by locals on non-race days. “The council is to be commended for its vision to beautify the park to make it now even more appealing as an area for everyone to enjoy.’’

Ascot Park has a three street frontage to Lancaster Rd, Kitchener Rd and the one-way McGill Avenue. Many train travellers use it as a means of “short cutting” the walk to the historic Ascot railway station midway along McGill Ave. The name McGill is synonymous with racing in Queensland particularly Eagle Farm through the involvement of the family especially James McGill, a steward and a racing historian who was the founder of the BRC’s Racing Museum. Many years ago a feature of Ascot Park was a bandstand rotunda and the upgrade plans include a provision for a similar structure to be erected with adjacent informal seating. The site will be fully fenced with post and rail fencing and associated hedging along the perimeter of the park. The existing buildings along Kitchener Road for Community Kindergarten and Children’s Centre will be retained.

The vision for the rest of the site includes a heavy emphasis on the creation of a local playground with will incorporate play elements including swinging, spinning, climbing, cubby play and a water play. A unique patterned maze will provide an opportunity for children to learn about important local figures and historical events in the surrounds.

Mr Bell thanked and congratulated local Councillor David McLachlan for his co-operation with the BRC to ensure a smooth transition of the park and the foresight to initiate such a vital community, a benefit the revitalised Ascot Park will provide.