Entertainment

Knockers ‘holding us back’ on stadium and centre push

CQ NRL Bid Chairman Geoff Murphy and CEO Denis Keeffe
CQ NRL Bid Chairman Geoff Murphy and CEO Denis Keeffe Chris Ison

GEOFF Murphy has criticised the negative attitude of locals who he believes are holding the region back.

Speaking Friday about the push for a stadium and convention centre, the NRL Bid chairman said they've found support from 99% of local businesses they've spoken to, but said they always expected a few "knockers".

"I think we'd have them no matter what we did, no matter what we said, no matter what we wanted to do," he said.

"There are some people who just don't like to see growth, they don't like to see change... that's probably what's held Rockhampton back for the last 55 years."

Mr Murphy said Rockhampton is being left behind in all aspects, and it was about time stakeholders got together and pushed for something for the region.

"I'm a passionate believer in Rockhampton and Central Queensland, but never at any stage has business, local government, state government and federal government put their shoulders together and pushed for something for our area," he said.

Michelle Landry MP also announced her support for the proposal, describing it as one of the most significant economic developments in decades.

She agreed with Mr Murphy's views.

"I just think people in Central Queensland need to start being more positive about the area," she said.

"People don't realise that all these negative comments they make online, other people read it from other regions and that actually turns business growth away."

Ms Landry will push for federal government funding for the $150 million project, which is planned for an area near the showgrounds.

Stadium support

WHILE they don't know yet whether CQ will get an NRL team, Michelle Landry MP said a convention centre and stadium would be fantastic for the region regardless.

She will push for federal government funding for the $150 million project, which is planned for an area around the showgrounds precinct.

If the project goes ahead there are also plans to eventually build a sports academy to develop young people, for an extra $77 million.

Ms Landry said while there isn't money available right now it was important to start lobbying so when money does become available they're at the top of the list for funding.

NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy said it was unbelievable for a city with more than 100,000 people to not have the facilities to host crowds of more than 400.

He also believes the stadium to still be economically viable without an NRL team.

They hope to start construction between 12 and 18 months' time.

Topics:  cq nrl bid stadium and convention centre



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