BRING IT ON ... Grant Denyer is keen to see the V8 Supercars come to the city
V8 bid on track
JESSICA JOHNSTON | 17Apr08 | (Townsville Bulletin Post Here)
A WORLD-class racing mecca is on track for Townsville as the V8 Supercar project rolls ahead.
Sports Minister Judy Spence toured the proposed site at Reid Park during a visit to Townsville on Sunday ahead of Mayor Les Tyrell's jaunt to see the Supercars in action in New Zealand.
Townsville MP Mike Reynolds yesterday threw his support behind the project, announcing he would accompany Cr Tyrell to the Hamilton 400 race.
Ms Spence said she was excited about the plan to build Queensland's first permanent V8 facility to host the 2009 event and recommitted to the State providing funding for the precinct.
"I can see why people are excited about the site, about the concept, it's very exciting to be able to establish a permanent V8 facility," Ms Spence said.
"On the Gold Coast we spend a third of the year constructing and deconstructing the track, so to have something permanent in Townsville I think is very exciting.
"I think the development will also add to that part of town in terms of parkland, and new roads and bicycle ways and the potential for that site to be developed for sports.
"I had a positive and productive meeting with the new mayor of Townsville and we are continuing to discuss the final financial contributions required to enable this event to proceed."
But while the July 2009 race is fast approaching, Cr Tyrell said authorities were still working on a masterplan.
He said his trip to the V8 Supercar Hamilton 400 would give an invaluable insight as to how a small town could cope with both the Supercars and influx of 55,000 people over three days.
"I'm not a mad sport fanatic by any chance, but I'm very interested in understanding how the Hamilton council overcomes obvious issues caused from the race," Cr Tyrell said.
He said traffic management and lessening the impact on local residents would be top of his agenda.
Cr Tyrell predicted the Townsville race would attract up to 150,000 visitors to the city over three days.
Mr Reynolds said the State Government was committed to providing the best outcome for Townsville and the New Zealand trip would give him a chance to investigate issues first hand.
"I will pay particular attention to issues including traffic management, delivery of emergency services, pedestrian and resident safety, commercial impact and benefits for Townsville businesses and environmental monitoring," Mr Reynolds said.
The State and Federal Governments and Townsville council have all committed funding to the project.
"The Queensland Government has previously agreed to provide $12.32 million towards the construction of the V8 Supercar precinct in Townsville, subject to a third party contributing $10 million to the capital cost of the precinct and Townsville City Council providing approximately $3.5 million," Ms Spence said.
A spokesman for Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis said the Federal Government remained committed to the V8 supercar project.