Bouldercombe motorsport precinct scrapped
A motorsport precinct at Bouldercombe has been taken off the table for the near future, as Rockhampton Regional Council is forced to rein in spending to due to the financial impact of COVID-19.
The council put a call out to landholders in October 2019 as it searched for suitable locations for a motorsports precinct in the region.
A site at 53199 Burnett Highway, Bouldercombe, was revealed in May as the preference, and the council entered into a conditional $1.3 million contract for the purchase of the land.
Tenders for the design of the site were awarded to Driven International, an international firm partnered with an Australian company with a budget allocated of $200,000.
Features of the proposed $180 million facility included a drag strip, speedway circuit, burnout pad and commercial area, potentially for a service station, remote control car track, motocross and supercross tracks, twin mud racing track, BMX track, 4X4, camping, grandstand and seating.
Mayor Tony Williams confirmed on Wednesday, following a confidential session with councillors and staff, that council would not be going ahead with the purchase of the Bouldercombe land.
Conditions of the contract required the council to make a decision by the end of this month and councillors resolved not to proceed.
“Unfortunately council has come to the very difficult and tough decision to not go ahead with the purchase of the land at Bouldercombe,” Cr Williams said.
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make, and I want to make it clear at the outset that council still supports a motorsport precinct, but the timing is not right to push ahead with this at the moment.”
Cr Williams went on to say that council needed to focus on more immediate and substantial infrastructure priorities that sustained and supported growth in the region, including key water, sewerage and road projects.
“Unfortunately, we are constrained by the financial impact of COVID-19 and this is a choice we have had to make – prioritising the “must do’s,” he said.
“We have a lot of priorities that has forced council to make some tough decision, especially as we lead up to our budget.
“There are other priority areas we need to allocate the money to.”
The council has said a motorsport precinct may still be likely, but just not right now.
“We are not opposed to a motorsport precinct going forward, it is something we will work with and look at other options as we press on,” Cr Williams said.
“I know our passionate motorsport community and motoring enthusiasts will be disappointed to hear today’s news but I want to assure them that council supports a motorsport precinct for our region and we will continue to progress this in the background.
“Our immediate focus will be to build on the success of the inaugural Rockynats event and to really make that the best it can be.”
Rockhampton Regional Council has advised it has written to local Bouldercombe residents and sporting clubs to notify them of its decision.