EXCLUSIVE: Council revs up Supercars circuit plans
REVVING up the bid to bring Supercars to Rockhampton, council will today announced its preferred site for the ambitious race track.
Rockhampton Region Acting Mayor Tony Williams revealed exclusively to The Morning Bulletin that Norbridge Park, a sporting ground on the banks of the Fitzroy River, would be the home of the region's car racing industry if successful.
Cr Williams said a number of locations had been discussed but Norbridge Park's riverside setting, close CBD proximity and ample space would showcase the event to its potential.
This announcement comes off the back of last last week's call by election candidate Margaret Strelow's that she would push to bring the $40m economy boosting industry to Rocky.
Community members had already expressed their interest to have Sir Raymond Huish Drive as the potential route which Ms Strelow was suggesting as an option.
But Cr Williams said Norbridge Park was already a prospective multi-sport precinct and the 240 ha circuit could cater for the potential 90,000 people drawn to the region.
"Another key reason we are looking at Norbridge Park is that there would be no impact on the main road network, and the multiple exit and entry points would keep any local disruption to a minimum," he said.
Cr Williams said engineers and consultants who weighed up all track options were aware of the flood threat at the North Rockhampton site but "were not deterred at all".
He said the hard infrastructure would be designed for flooding and all equipment necessary to hold an event would be transported in and out.
"The consultants saw a blank canvas for them where they can develop a track from scratch," he said.
"As there are no residents in that area, any damaged roads from flooding could be closed until it dried out."
Cr Williams said sporting clubs that currently use the surrounding fields were very enthusiastic about the idea.
The construction would bring the clubs new facilities such as toilet blocks and improved infrastructure.
Cr Williams said they would continue to work hard to get this event, and the jobs, tourism, and economic boost that came with it for Central Queensland.
Manager of Regional Development and Promotions Chris Ireland said discussions were ongoing with Supercars Australia.
"These discussions have been very positive, as has the reaction from residents, businesses, and sports groups since we shared our plans," he said.
"I look forward to getting on with the next stage of these negotiations, including finalising our proposal before seeking support from both State and Federal Governments to progress it."