An imposing grandstand, like the one built at Salter Oval in Bundaberg, would be a basic prerequisite for a modern new sports stadium on the Fraser Coast.
An imposing grandstand, like the one built at Salter Oval in Bundaberg, would be a basic prerequisite for a modern new sports stadium on the Fraser Coast.

Sports stadium dream

TOWNSVILLE’S Dairy Farmers Stadium, with a capacity of 26,000, may be just out of our league.

So too Bluetongue Stadium on the Central Coast that could squeeze in 20,000 soccer and rugby league fans from weekend to weekend.

But the prospect of a sports stadium to compare with others in regional Australia is emerging as a real possibility for the Fraser Coast.

The Fraser Coast Economic Development Strategy will be launched at an early morning function at Susan River next Wednesday, with a feasibility study for a major outdoor, multi-sport stadium high up on its shopping list.

“I would like to see us push on with our sports complex plan, a venue that could host outdoor concerts and major soccer games,” Fraser Coast councillor Gerard O’Connell said.

Mr O’Connell, who holds the council’s economic development portfolio, was keeping his strategy launch cards pretty close to his chest.

He and Enterprise Innovations director, Leigh Bennett, are the main instigators of the ambitious strategy, which has been endorsed by the Fraser Coast council.

The strategy focuses on seven key themes – tourism and marketing; precinct planning; attracting business; infrastructure; lifestyle, health and recreation; education; rural features.

“It signals the start of a big year,” Mr O’Connell said.

“We’ve had the organisational restructure and the bedding down of portfolios. This is the start of a strategic go-forward year and offering some serious leadership.”

Commercial development will also be an important focus of the strategy, with the proposed Mary Harbour, Centro and Station Square developments under the spotlight.

Promoting Tiaro, providing services in Howard and addressing the Esplanade foreshore debate will also slip under the strategy’s umbrella.

“It aims to give adequate and sustainable infrastructure to the region.

“This is about creating a future. It’s about creating a place that people want to live in.

“We want to set up a future that says we will educate you, we will train you, we will give you a career path and we will create jobs and meaningful employment.”

Mr O’Connell believes the Fraser Coast offers one of the best education environments in Queensland, an opportunity that can be explored through the strategy.

“Country people have many miles to travel to school. City people are hemmed in and stuck in gridlock half the time. We’re in between.”



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