Major Rocky stadium expansion wins key backers
TWELVE thousand people packed into Browne Park watching an NRL team run around, possibly against our CQ Capras.
It is a vision shared by many in this region and one that flashed through the eyes of Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow this morning.
Upon hearing the news of the Browne Park management committee's envision to transform the home of rugby league into a stadium, her first point of call was to contact chairman Paul Hoolihan.
She believes the proposed upgrades will enrich the lives of locals and residents of surrounding Central Queensland.
"I rang Paul first thing this morning to show our support," mayor Strelow said.
"There is a lot of merit to this, a lot. We are very keen to work with them. It is obviously very early days and there will be a trillion things to do for it but we will do everything we can to make it happen.
"We are a rugby league town and it was disappointing to not get a team but this is still fantastic news.
"For the people in our catchment, it would bring dollars and jobs and activity for locals. We want richer lives for the people who live here and a stadium would certainly do that."
"Not only would NRL teams possibly come here but also music events, the opportunities are endless."
MP Bill Byrne said the need for an upgraded stadium was clear.
"Rockhampton is ready for a larger, more modern sports venue and I think an upgrade to Browne Park is the perfect place for this investment," Mr Bryne said.
"I have had a series of discussions with a variety of stakeholders in recent months and I am pleased this discussion is now out in the public arena.
"It is my intention to work closely with our local sporting bodies and other community stakeholders who would benefit from such an investment to progress plans.
"A upgraded Browne Park would not just benefit our local sports fans but also has the potential to host major regional events.
"This upgrade has been spoken about for a long time and I believe now is the time for it to progress in a sensible fashion with input from all local sporting stakeholders."
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry also expressed enthusiasm for the concept.
"I am always willing to receive project briefs and support sporting facility development," Ms Landry said.
"Rugby League is hugely popular in Rockhampton and I think the community would love to see NRL games. It does appear as if this project is in preliminary stages and the feasibility study needs to be completed.
"Once this is complete and has gone through local government planning, I would welcome the opportunity to sit with the developers to see what support is available.
"The City Deals are a collaboration between all levels of government, but there are also other funding streams under Building Better Regions, the Regional Development Fund or even the Bowen Basin Jobs Package.
"It just depends on the outcome of the feasibility study as to what funding stream works best."