The Queensland Government in Australia has committed A$25 million towards delivering a 10,000-seat stadium at Rockhampton’s traditional home of NRL, Browne Park.
The announcement is a key initiative of the Central Queensland Regional Recovery Action Plan unveiled by the Premier to support the region’s economic recovery and to create local jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding will deliver the first phase of the Browne Park redevelopment, which in time would enable the ground to stage NRL games along with concerts and performances of international significance. She said:
Covid-19 continues to devastate lives and economies around the world. But because of Queensland’s strong health response and strong borders, we are on the path to recovery – and we’re seeing that here in Rocky.
Accommodation bookings here are up 17 per cent on what they were a year ago, and Brisbane to Rockhampton is one of the ten busiest flight routes in Australia. We know that to maintain that economic kickstart, we need to invest in construction and invest in jobs.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the first phase of construction could create around 60 jobs. He said:
We live in rugby league heartland. Rocky is an NRL nursery and we want the NRL to give something back to Central Queensland for the stars we’ve produced over the years.
At the moment, Browne Parke is not big enough to attract high-profile events, so we miss out. Today we outline Stage 1 – a rebuild of the western-side Jack Crow Stand to offer nearly 4,000 seats – and commit to a Master Plan that adds seating and facilities to the Albert and George streets sides in later stages.
The end design allows – through contemporary construction – to design for more than 9,000-plus seats being achieved without having to close off Murray Street.
Treasurer and Minister or Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Browne Park redevelopment was a vital part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Central Queensland Recovery Plan.