MAYOR’S COLUMN: Plans mount for a motorsport precinct
ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council is making movements towards creating a permanent multi use motorsports precinct.
Mayor Margaret Strelow shared the latest update on the project in her column this week.
It is anticipated the new facility would be shaped in the second half of 2020, pending a new council table in April or May.
Read her column below:
THE community’s support for the Supercars bid was palpable. The possibility of hosting Supercars sparked a lot of excitement and it was clear that motorsport events would receive strong support within our community. While it was disappointing to lose that bid, and while we continue to keep a relationship with Supercars open, we knew we needed a major event of our own.
Rockynats exploded on the scene with 32,500 engagements on social media in the first five days and 440,000 views of the video!
Since that first excitement I have gone from being excited to just a little bit scared.
Until next month we will still be in the detailed planning of the event, working with emergency services, Main Roads, and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport who is the overarching motorsport body. We know that local enthusiasts and our visitors are expecting an exciting event that is uniquely Rockhampton and we plan to deliver. I’ve seen some of your concerns on social media, please be assured the cruise route is substantial and will be very exciting. On the Rockynats website you will find a map of where each event will be held as well as a list of frequently asked questions (and no we are not removing the tiles in Quay Street ).
The drag races will be held on Quay Street between William and South Street, the Show ‘N’ Shine displayed along Quay street between Fitzroy and William Street, drifting will be on the lower riverside car park off Victoria Parade and the burnouts will be at the new Northside boat ramp car park. There will be a closed off area of a number of CBD blocks (details will be out shortly) and entry into this area will need a ticket.
Even though Rockynats is hitting the mark, we know there remains and appetite for motorsport all year round.
Late last year we began exploring locations for a permanent multi use motorsports precinct. We put out a call to landowners, because we knew that identifying a suitable location could be difficult – flat and easily accessible. Separate to this, Council officers undertook an assessment of a number of sites. We settled on a few likely locations and have only just had an industry expert in town to visit our short-listed sites. We needed to know if there were any ‘show stoppers’ at any location before we proceeded to negotiations. Council will of course be bound by the same processes as any other developer and will need to go through a Material Change of Use for any of the sites.
Any decisions taken at this late stage will be written to require ratification by the new Council in April or May. But assuming all goes well with negotiations and site selection, we will move to forming an advisory group to help us shape the new facility in the second half of 2020.
We will need a mix of professional expertise and local knowledge to help us build a motorsport facility which fits us like a glove.
And let’s not forget the range of benefits that would flow with visitors and even more events.
As we have seen with Rockynats, the Mount Morgan Gold Rush Hill Sprint, and the upcoming Australian Junior Motocross – there is more than enough passion and interest in our Region to sustain a motorsport complex.