Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner.
Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner.

Game-changing $175m entertainment precinct for Wellcamp announced

THE Queensland Government is set to invest $40 million in a $175m plan to develop Queensland’s largest entertainment precinct near Wellcamp Airport.

The Wagner family’s proposed Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct (WEP) is a $175 million project that incorporates motorsport, driver-training and 40,000 person performing arts venue.

The project has been spoken about for a number of years, but today’s announcement is the first time a government has committed funding to the precinct.

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 have 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 new level – a vision that the Palaszczuk Government backs.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick called on the Federal Government to match Queensland’s contribution to ensure the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct could become a reality.

“This project would support 130 jobs during construction and up to 2,500 jobs when hosting major events,” the Treasurer said.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports the project with $40 million and today we call on the Federal Government to match this.”

The Wagner Corporation is already committed to investing $95 million of its own money to the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct.

“The Wagner family will invest with the state and federal governments support in the order of $95 million of our assets and funds into this project,” Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said.

“We are keen to start construction early next year to help kick start the economy post COVID-19.”

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

The proposed WEP will include the Will Power Centre for Motorsport and Driver Training Excellence – a world-class facility catering for all levels of motorsport from amateur club racing through to professional events; road safety training and driver education facilities for all levels of drivers and vehicle types; research and innovation partnerships with universities and industry partners, including automotive manufacturers; and road safety and driver training facilities and vocational training opportunities.

There will also be a 40,000-person venue for music festivals and major events, as well as business tourism and event facilities and a 5000 person on-site accommodation facility.

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

Federation Internationale de l’Automobile president Jean Todt said the FIA was strongly supportive of this exciting project.

“Having visited your country on many occasions, I am aware that there is an urgent need for more permanent motor racing facilities,”

Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arrocca said the circuit design had the potential for the venue to host international and even World Championship motorsport events.

“Motorsport desperately needs more permanent venues in this country, and one such as that planned by the Wagner family will bring enormous social, economic and community benefits to the people of the Darling Downs and Queensland in general,” Arrocca said.

Originally published as Game-changing $175m entertainment precinct for Wellcamp announced