OPINION: Why don't we push for all major projects?

WHY doesn't the Fraser Coast pursue both the Wide Bay Motor Complex and Sports Precinct?

The Chronicle frequently asks what our readers would like to see in our region, and a motor complex is a common response.

That is on the cards thanks to Ben Collingwood and the Wide Bay Motor Complex committee, but when another major project like the precinct is mentioned, it is so divisive the last Fraser Coast Regional Council election was turned into a referendum on the plan.

Money does not grow on trees: funds are finite, and all tiers of government have to work extremely hard to find the correct balance of projects on which to allocate their budget.

Maintenance and development of roads, footpaths and parks doesn't come cheap, but when it comes to long-term projects there appears to be a similarly limited view in regards to which are worthy of adoption.

Which major project do you support?

This poll ended on 30 November 2016.

Current Results

Only the Wide Bay Motor Complex

39%

Only the Sports Precinct

6%

Both the Motor Complex and the Sports Precinct

29%

Neither project

24%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

As someone who grew up with a passion for sport I am fully behind projects that encourage future generations to have as much fun playing and watching sport as I continue to have.

There are three big-ticket options on the table: Wide Bay Motor Complex, Nikenbah Sports Precinct, and Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders' proposed stadium.

The Motor Complex made enormous progress earlier this year when it was announced the International Drag Racing Association would support the project.

It was much-needed good news the project's hard-working committee needed, and once complete will have a great economic impact on the Fraser Coast.

The Sports Precinct, meanwhile, has been plagued with issues.

Whether it was the lack of clear communication in regards to what the actual plan entailed from the start, the battle to win over ratepayers, or its status as a major election issue, the Nikenbah project has stalled.

The Wide Bay Motor Complex's committee battled for 10 years to get to this point of progress; the Sports Precinct has been on the table for the last few years.

In that time the precinct has survived nine council votes, and more local sporting organisations are on board than ever before (as committees/clubs; individual opinion is still split among club members).

As for the stadium, Mr Saunders' proposition definitely warrants some thought.

The facility, if developed, could host major sporting events, concerts, and would allow the region a stadium from which a state league team could grow.

It does have its drawbacks, the biggest being the limited number of sports and teams that could actually utilise the premises, but it does warrant exploration.



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