Motorsport in Queensland has received a major boost with plans for a permanent $175 million dollar motorsport facility and entertainment precinct in Toowoomba being announced today.
Proposed by the Wagner Corporation, the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct will house a world class race track, road safety and driver education and training facilities, a 40,000-person venue for major events, business tourism and event facilities and on-site accommodation for up to 5000 people.
With the new facility having potential to cater to all levels of Australian motorsport, from grassroots racing to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said it was a significant moment for the sport in Queensland and Australia.
“Motorsport desperately needs more permanent venues in this country, and one such as that planned by the Wagner family will bring enormous social, economic and community benefits to the people of the Darling Downs and Queensland in general,” Arocca said.
“The circuit design has the potential for the venue to host international and even World Championship motorsport events, something sorely needed in this region.
“Today’s announcement of a $40 million contribution by the Queensland Government is the largest investment by any government in a permanent racetrack in Australia’s history. The State Government clearly recognises the major economic benefits of motorsport in this country. On behalf of all motorsport lovers we thank the Government for its outstanding support of our sport in the Sunshine state. This heralds a new era for Queensland motorsport and both the Palaszczuk Government and the Wagner family are to be congratulated for this historic announcement.”
FIA President Jean Todt echoed Arocca’s comments surrounding the permanent race track, which will be named in honour of the Toowoomba’s most prolific motorsport export and be known as the ‘Will Power Centre for Motorsport and Driver Training Excellence’.
”Having visited your country (Australia) on many occasions, I am aware that there is an urgent need for more permanent motor racing facilities,” Todt added
“The FIA is strongly supportive of this exciting project.”
Expected to become one of the state’s large entertainment precincts, the project will not just have a major influence on motorsport in Queensland, but will be a major boost for the town’s economy with up to 130 jobs to be created during construction and a further 2,500 once finished and events are regularly taking place.
Estimated to cost around $175 million, the precinct has already received significant financial backing and support from the Queensland Government, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confident of its positive impact.
“The Wagner family’s record of delivering world-class projects, especially in this region, is without peer,” Palaszczuk said.
“Their vision, imagination and drive to succeed has turned paddocks into an international airport and trade distribution centre that, with the support of my Government, is also home to the Qantas Group Pilot Academy.
“Now, the Wagners are ready to take Wellcamp to an entirely to new level – a vision that the Palaszczuk Government backs.”
Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick was also highly supportive of the proposed Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct.
“This precinct would aim to attract major events right across the performing arts, business, tourism, sport and events sectors,” Dick explained.
“We are committed to working with the community and business leaders like the Wagners in the Darling Downs to continue looking at creating more opportunities for future growth.
“The Palaszczuk Government supports the project with $40 million and today we call on the Federal Government to match this.”
With the Wagner family to invest $95 million of its own money, Chairman John Wagner was excited for the opportunity.
“The Wagner family will invest with the state and federal governments support in the order of $95 million of our assets and funds into this project,” Wagner said.
“We are keen to start construction early next year to help kick start the economy post COVID-19.”
The Federal Government has now been called on to fund the remaining $40 million required to build this significant project.
The proposed Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct includes:
• The “Will Power Centre for Motorsport and Driver Training Excellence” - a world-class facility catering for:
- all levels of motorsport from amateur club racing through to professional events
- road safety training and driver education facilities for all levels of drivers and vehicle types
- research and innovation partnerships with universities and industry partners, including automotive manufacturers
- road safety and driver training facilities and vocational training opportunities
• a 40,000-person venue for music festivals and major events
• business tourism and event facilities
• 5,000 person on-site accommodation