The $100m project to kickstart QLD’s economy


THE family behind some of Queensland's most successful major projects says it could have work started in just months on a $100 million entertainment centre creating hundreds of jobs.

Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said they are in talks with the State Government about an entertainment centre for Toowoomba, the city from which the family grew their grandfather's stonemasonry business into a major infrastructure contractor, airport builder and international operator.


John Wagner at his Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
John Wagner at his Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen


The Wagners built Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport, the first privately-built airport in generations, created a massive cement and concrete business as well as a port facility handling live export cattle and grain on the Brisbane River.

Mr Wagner said the entertainment centre adjacent to the airport was the sort of project governments needed to back to get the economy going to help ease the massive post-COVID-19 economic pain.

Mr Wagner said the State Government - both the politicians and the bureaucrats - had been working hard to cut red tape and get the economy moving but all levels needed to be flexible and find projects to create jobs.



He said the entertainment centre work could start in four months with a Government green light.

"We are working with the state to build a big entertainment complex and centre of excellence in Toowoomba," Mr Wagner said.

"That's one example of how they could actually get things to move quickly.

"We really need them to look outside the square at funding models to make it happen.

"It'll be a $100 million-plus spend.

"We could have construction of it up and running in four or five months.

"Those are the sort of projects the state need to look at."



Mr Wagner said Queensland needed to work hard to get its tourism sector going again, and the jobs it provided, as well as looking to major future projects, like the southeast fast rail that could connect the Gold and Sunshine coasts with Brisbane and Toowoomba as part of an Olympics bid.

"That's a massive project and it will take years to plan it and it won't happen until the 2032 Olympics is confirmed.

"That's an excellent project and it will really open up the southeast corner."

He said more immediate projects were needed.

"The State Government are out looking for projects they can get underway," Mr Wagner said.

"While there isn't a formal road map, there is certainly a view they want things to happen and to happen quickly."

Originally published as The $100m project to kickstart QLD's economy