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Wagners get $40m boost for motorsport and entertainment project

Business

The Wagner family’s empire has been given a boost by Labor’s pledge to inject $40 million into a planned $175 million motorsport facility and 40,000-seat entertainment centre near its Wellcamp airport, west of Toowoomba.

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The project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, would still need a funding injection from the Federal Government, something that is unlikely to occur during the election campaign, which starts next week.

The Wagners, who built the Wellcamp Airport, have committed $95 million to the project.

The family runs a major construction business which has a $35 million contract with Adani. The Wagners are also well known for the successful defamation action against shock jock Alan Jones over claims he made about the 2011 flood.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the plan had 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 Cameron Dick said the project would support 130 jobs during construction and up to 2500 jobs when hosting major events.

Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said the company was keen to start construction early next year.

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

The full proposal includes a Will Power Centre for Motorsport and Driver Training Excellence, which would have all levels of motorsport from amateur club racing through to professional events.

There would also be a 40, 000-seat venue for music festivals and major events including business functions and events and a 5000-person accommodation facility.

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

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.

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