MARY Carroll is rallying community support for the construction of a 1000-seat convention centre and 20,000-seat stadium in Rockhampton.
The Capricorn Enterprise CEO said it was "absolutely critical" that it went ahead now, even before a final decision had been made on the CQ NRL Bid.
Her comments were endorsed by bid chairman Geoff Murphy, who said this was vital for the region's economic development.
The convention centre and stadium tops the new list of seven priority projects identified by Capricorn Enterprise.
Ms Carroll said Rockhampton had to move now to secure State Government funding that was likely to flow to regions with the finalisation of the Queensland Plan and the Strong Choices agenda (assets sales).
That had generated fierce competition among the regions and Townsville was agitating for funds for a similar project, despite already having a convention centre and stadium.
Ms Carroll said the Rockhampton region's submission to the Queensland Plan had been hailed by the Premier and his Cabinet.
She wants to see those compliments equate to cash.
"We are the only regional city in Queensland without a convention centre or a stadium. That is just unforgivable," she said.
"We need that right now. We need to make sure that we're in the box seat.
"We have done the right thing by the government, we have produced fantastic submissions.
"Now we need the community support to get behind these priority projects, particularly the convention centre and stadium."
Ms Carroll said the stadium and convention centre complex would cost in the vicinity of $150 million and would be built in the existing sporting precinct along the Fitzroy River.
"A high-quality convention centre would provide an immediate economic benefit to the region," she said.
"It is frustrating to see cities like Mackay and Gladstone securing events that should be coming to Rockhampton as the capital of Central Queensland.
"The spin-off for local business and our economy would be considerable and the project would be a driver of further development."
WHAT IT WILL HAVE
- 1000-seat convention centre
- 20,000-seat stadium
- Meeting rooms
- Corporate facilities for game days and other events
- Retail and food and beverage outlets
- Sponsor interaction areas
- Play areas for children
- A multi-use facility for tradeshows, exhibitions, entertainment etc
The stadium would create an estimated 1000 full-time equivalent jobs during construction, and 425 sustainable full-time equivalent operational jobs.
It is estimated that over five years the project would generate $745 million in output, $326.9 million in value added, $215 million in additional income for the regional economy and in excess of 3000 job opportunities.