State backs world-class entertainment precinct for Wellcamp


The Palaszczuk Government will invest $40 million in a plan to develop Queensland’s largest entertainment precinct at Wellcamp near Toowoomba.

The Wagner family’s proposed Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct (WEP) is a $175 million project that incorporating motorsport, driver-training and 40-000 person performing arts venue.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the plan has the potential to revolutionise the economy of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs.

“The Wagner family’s record of delivering world-class projects, especially in this region, is without peer,” the Premier 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 called on the Federal Government to match Queensland’s contribution to ensure the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct can become a reality.

“This project would support 130 jobs during construction and up to 2,500 jobs when hosting major events,” the Treasurer said.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports the project with $40 million and today we call on the Federal Government to match this.”

The Wagner Corporation is already committed to investing $95 million of its own money to the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct.

Wagner Corporation Chairman John Wagner said “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.

“We are keen to start construction early next year to help kick start the economy post COVID-19.”

“This precinct would aim to attract major events right across the performing arts, business, tourism, sport and events sectors, making it a perfect fit for our Darling Downs Regional Economic Recovery Plan, which I am releasing today,” the Treasurer said.

“We recognise that our response to COVID-19 is a long-term commitment that will need to be delivered over years, not months.

“That’s why 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.”

“With the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct, those opportunities could extend from advanced automotive manufacturing to accommodation providers, restaurants, cafes and many other small businesses.”

The Palaszczuk Government has to date announced more than $8 billion on initiatives to support business, industry and households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep our economy moving and Queenslanders in jobs.

Community consultation and planning approvals will still be required before any works start.

The proposed WEP 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;
  • 5000 person on-site accommodation.

Community consultation and planning approvals will still be required before any works start.

The project has already received endorsement from local and international motorsport bodies.

President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile Jean Todt said “Having visited your country on many occasions, I am aware that there is an urgent need for more permanent motor racing facilities. The FIA is strongly supportive of this exciting project.”

The CEO of Motorsport Australia Eugene Arrocca said “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.

“The circuit design has the potential for the venue to host international and even World Championship motor sport events.”

As part of the Darling Downs Regional Economic Recovery Plan, the Treasurer also announced that Queensland’s Global Agrifood Innovation Centre (GAFIC) Ltd has been named the preferred supplier to establish and run a multi-million-dollar agtech and logistics hub at Toowoomba.

The Palaszczuk Government is working with key organisations in agriculture technology development to set up the agtech hub as a three-year pilot.

“We’re putting $3 million on the table over 3 years as part of our Economic Recovery Plan for the Darling Downs.

Through COVID, we have seen time and again the strength of our traditional industries like agriculture and resources, and this investment ensures world-leading agricultural research will be part of our future for generations to come.

“All going well, the hub is expected to be self-sustaining after three years – run by industry, for industry.

Darling Downs Regional Recovery Action Plan initiatives includes:

  • $16.7 million expansion of the John Dee meat facility at Warwick creating 155 long term jobs.
  • $3.3 million investment to deliver an agtech and logistics hub to revolutionise farming practice practices and improve supply chains.
  • $10 million to support the regional trade hub, focusing on exports
  • $1 billion roads stimulus package, which includes the new Regional Economic Enabling Fund
  • $21 million James Street upgrade at East and West creeks, Toowoomba. Supporting more than 80 jobs during construction, the project will see new culverts built, bolstering the flood resilience on Toowoomba’s main street.
  • $11 million to replace the single-lane concrete Rocky Creek Bridge on Murphy’s Creek Road as part of a $100 million commitment announced earlier this year to upgrade regional and rural bridges across Queensland.
  • $13.9 million to widen and strengthen key sections of the New England Highway between Yarraman and Toowoomba, adding to the $9.26 million Emu Creek bridge replacement, which is now complete and supported 15 jobs during construction.

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