$5m puts Townsville V8s back on track
TONY RAGGATT l 16May08 l Townsville Bulletin
START your engines – the posturing over V8 Supercar funding has been resolved.
Sports Minister Judy Spence and Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell announced yesterday that the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council agreed on financial terms to bring a V8 Supercar event to Townsville.
They confirmed that the State and the council would chip in an additional $2.29 million each to meet the cost increase from the original $25 million.
Ms Spence said: "We are now in a position to start serious work for this event to go ahead.
"The Mayor and I agree the event is a showstopper for Townsville and North Queensland, and this is a great example of the State and local government working together to achieve an outcome which is great for both the State and the local community.
"The increased infrastructure costs reflect cost increases in building supplies and normal increases in delivery costs since the project was costed two years ago.
"The State, council, V8 Supercars Australia and specialist engineers have spent the last week poring over the budget to make sure that all possible cost savings were considered without compromising the success of the event.
"We have now all agreed on a total revised construction budget of $29.58 million, which represents a $1.2 million saving on the cost estimates supplied to the Government earlier this year."
Cr Tyrell said now they had managed to find some savings on this project, he would be recommending to council at the next meeting that it formally approved the spending.
"This will enable construction of a multi-purpose pit building, an exciting and dynamic racing track and revegetate and improve the Reid Park area for the event and the local community," he said.
"I am happy with the outcome which I think is a fair deal and I thank the State Government for its on-going support of the event.
"The thing you have got to look at is the city will be getting something like $12 million worth of permanent assets that
will be available for the community all year round."
The agreement would see the total upfront commitment by the Queensland Government for construction of the precinct increase to $14.61 million.
Townsville City Council's upfront commitment would rise to $4.97 million and the Federal Labor Government committed $10 million.
In addition, the Queensland Government would also provide $2.5 million annually, for 5 years, towards staging costs.
V8 Supercar Australia Chairman Tony Cochrane said he was delighted the event was proceeding and was confident it would be a major success.
"V8 Supercars Australia is committed to delivering a top quality event which will not only be a highlight of the V8 Supercar series but also showcase Queensland as a premier sporting and tourism destination," he said.
Ms Spence said the agreements reached between the State Government and the Mayor would enable the parties to get on with the job of delivering an event precinct for July 2009.