The central Queensland city of Rockhampton has confirmed it is in preliminary talks with Supercars to stage a championship round.
The city’s council today issued a statement in which Acting Mayor Tony Williams expressed his desire to attract the touring car series, which currently stages street circuit rounds at Townsville and Surfers Paradise, as well as a sprint round at Queensland Raceway.
“Not only would this be fantastic for our region’s profile and cement our reputation as the premier tourist destination for Central Queensland, but it would have massive economic flow on benefits for our hotels, our shops and our restaurants,” said Councillor Williams.
“We’ve been working closely with Supercars Australia on this and the appetite for an event in Rockhampton is definitely there,” said the council’s Manager of Regional Development and Promotions, Chris Ireland.
“You only have to look at how these events have shaped the economic futures of Townsville or Newcastle to see the positive impact these events have on those towns.
“From here, we need to make sure we’ve got all of our studies completed, get an agreement with the Supercars Australia and investigate the best possible funding options going forward, including Government support.”
The question of government support will be one of the key factors in how the idea progresses. The Queensland state government is already committed to continue providing financial backing to two of the region’s three Supercars rounds, namely the street circuit events in Townsville (pictured below) and Surfers Paradise, until 2019.
With state elections just days away, progress of a Rockhampton round beyond its embryonic state may well depend on the results of the election and whether the government has the appetite to fund a third event.
“There are numerous locations interested in hosting Supercars for the proven and lasting benefits they bring,” Supercars CEO Warburton remarked.
“The Rockhampton City Council have made some initial approaches to gain some insight on how they might be in a position to stage an event.
“It would need to have the full support of our major funding partner Tourism and Events Queensland, and of course the State Government.”
Image via LAT