Hitch for O'Rourke handing over $100K for Rocky Supercars
THE Local and State Governments are on a mission to bring a major Supercars Australia event to Rockhampton with efforts underway to get their funding on the same page.
Since March last year, Rockhampton's local council has quietly plugged away in talks with Supercars Australia and other key stakeholders in the hopes of hosting an event similar to that in Townsville or on the Gold Coast.
Going into last year's state election, Barry O'Rourke made a campaign promise for a $100,000 commitment towards a CQ Motor Sporting Club's business case to back the bid to bring V8 Supercars to Rockhampton.
He's got the $100,000 ready to deliver on his promise but there's a complication with how the hand over will take place.
Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow said they would be delighted to take the State Government's money, given they had paid just under half of the $200,000 bill for the feasibility study but they needed to work out how secure it after it was promised to the CQ Motorsport Club, not council.
"Council has been working towards bringing Supercars to Rockhampton since March last year," Cr Strelow said.
"After positive encouragement, council commissioned a feasibility study and had already paid for the first stage of it.
"The location that I put forward turned out to be the one that the consultants liked best too and council had verbally agreed to go ahead with Norbridge Park for the second stage of the study."
She said there were constraints on what she could disclose as a candidate during the election campaign and without any real knowledge about how far things had already progressed, Mr O'Rourke stepped forward and committed to give $100000 to the CQ Motorsport club to do a feasibility study.
"The challenge now is that the State Government department are determined to pay the CQ Motorsport Club as stated in Barry's election commitment and we are still trying to negotiate for the money to be transferred to Council," Cr Strelow said.
"We believe that it will need to go via the Motor Sports Club. All parties are happy for us to receive the money.
"The CQ Motorsport Club have been a part of our working group all along."
Cr Strelow said council would continue jumping through government department hoops to secure the money.