REVEALED: Plans for Gladstone's $3.6million speedway
GLADSTONE revheads, start your engines - the region will soon be the home a $3.6 million speedway track that executives believe could become the nation's premier track.
Earthworks have begun at the facility located next to the Benaraby Motorsports complex. The clay track will be 420m long by the pole line and surrounded by an amphitheatre of tiered seating.
Project manager Neil Smith and Gladstone Auto Club president Greg King joined Speedway Australia sport development officer Adam Brook to speak to Gladstone Regional Council about the economic benefit of the project, which could "pay for itself”.
"Other venues in similar rural regions of Queensland have seen up to $2 million - $3 million influx into the local economy per event,” Mr Brook said. "Quite often we see major events featuring upwards of 12,000 spectators with several hundred competitors.”
He said the track could become a drawcard for fans of the sport to visit Gladstone.
"It's so attractive to be able to come to a nice place like Gladstone rather than some of our city venues, which are quite often based in industrial areas,” Mr Brook said.
The new track would replace the speedway track at the Gladstone Showgrounds, which had become worn down and had concerns of noise and dust from the event.
"By getting this away from the centre of town we alleviate all those concerns for residents,” Mr Brook said.
"This also safeguards the venue because all those showground tracks have a limited lifespan.”
Gladstone and Rockhampton speedway drivers make up the second largest portion in Queensland after Brisbane. Nationwide, the sport has 1400 licensed drivers.
Mr Smith said although the facility was purpose-built, there were opportunities for several other uses such as rodeos or music events.
"There's nowhere to do anything like that,” Mr Smith said.
"The guys who do the aerial bikes go to Rocky but then don't come here because there's nowhere for them to do it. There's lots of opportunities.”
So far the group has secured $80,000 from the council, which has been used for earthworks.
They plan to fund the rest of the project through council, state and federal grants and private investors.
Once funding is secured construction is expected to take about 12 months.