The Palaszczuk Government has today committed $25 million towards delivering a 10,000-seat stadium at Rockhampton’s traditional home of football, Browne Park.
The announcement is a key initiative of the Central Queensland Regional Recovery Action Plan unveiled by the Premier today to support the region’s economic recovery and to create local jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding will deliver the first phase of the Browne Park redevelopment, which in time would enable the ground to stage NRL games along with concerts and performances of international significance.
“COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and economies around the world,” the Premier said.
“But because of Queensland’s strong health response and strong borders, we are on the path to recovery – and we’re seeing that here in Rocky.
“Accommodation bookings here are up 17 per cent on what they were a year ago, and Brisbane to Rockhampton is one of the ten busiest flight routes in Australia.
“We know that to maintain that economic kickstart, we need to invest in construction and invest in jobs.
“Since the pandemic struck, my government has announced $8 billion in measures as part of Queensland Economic Recovery Plan to support Queenslanders’ health, Queensland jobs and Queensland businesses – and there is more to come.
“My government has a clear plan to drive Rockhampton’s economic recovery and Browne Park is an important part of that strategy.
“Ever since he was elected, Barry O’Rourke has lobbied me almost daily for this project, because he knows how important it is for Rockhampton.
“This is a great win for the people of Central Queensland.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the first phase of construction could create around 60 jobs.
“We live in rugby league heartland,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“Rocky is an NRL nursery and we want the NRL to give something back to Central Queensland for the stars we’ve produced over the years.
“At the moment, Browne Parke is not big enough to attract high-profile events, so we miss out.
“Today we outline Stage 1 – a rebuild of the western-side Jack Crow Stand to offer nearly 4,000 seats – and commit to a Master Plan that adds seating and facilities to the Albert and George streets sides in later stages.
“The end design allows – through contemporary construction – to design for more than 9,000-plus seats being achieved without having to close off Murray Street.”
Treasurer and Minister or Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Browne Park redevelopment was a vital part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Central Queensland Recovery Plan.
“Through COVID-19, we know that the traditional industries of Central Queensland like agriculture and mining have been among Queensland’s strongest,” he said.
“We need to continue building of the momentum from investments like Rookwood Weir and upgrades of the Callide and Stanwell power stations.
“This pandemic is a long-term challenge that requires a long-term response.
“That’s why we are working in partnership with the local community, Central Queensland businesses and industry to deliver initiatives that grow the region and create opportunities for the future.”
Central Queensland Regional Recovery Action Plan initiatives includes:
- $25 million for the Stage 1 redevelopment of the Browne Park sports stadium in Rockhampton, increasing seating capacity to around 4,300 and creating 60 jobs
- $176 million towards building Rookwood Weir, driving agricultural growth
- $194 million Bruce Highway Rockhampton Northern Access Major capital investment that includes $69 million North coast line upgrades, expanding eight train passing loops between Rockhampton and Townsville, enabling freight trains to increase in size by about 45 per cent.
- $243 million expansion of the Capricornia Correctional Centre
- $135 million in upgrades at the Gladstone Port
- $18.7 million in Works for Queensland funding for 56 council maintenance projects
- $95.4 million road works boost
- $27.9 million in COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans supporting around 170 small Central Queensland businesses
- $1.6 million in small business adaptation grants
- $4.2 million for an ongoing expansion of a social housing complex in Rockhampton providing 12 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments for singles, couples and families.