Wagner Group's John Wagner. Official opening of Qantas Group Pilot Academy at Wellcamp Airport. Wednesday, 29th Jan, 2020.
Wagner Group's John Wagner. Official opening of Qantas Group Pilot Academy at Wellcamp Airport. Wednesday, 29th Jan, 2020.

Long battle for $250m entertainment, motorsport complex

THE push for a motorsport and entertainment complex at Wellcamp Airport was given a boost this week, with John Wagner confirming the Wagner Group would invest between $90 million and $100 million into the project.

Mr Wagner made the comments an a luncheon at the Brisbane Club, The Courier-Mail reported.

It was reported Mr Wagner had been in talks with the State and Federal Governments about the project, which all up would cost between $230 million and $250 million, and create 300 to 400 new jobs.

Mr Wagner told The Chronicle it was still "early days" for the project and he hoped to be able to secure funding and support from all levels of government.

"It is exciting, it's going to be great for Toowoomba, great for regional Queensland," he said.

"I just hope that everyone can work together to make this a reality."

Mr Wagner said if he had his way, construction on the project would start early next year.

"That depends on funding from the government, town planning and all that other stuff," he said.

"We're just trying to create some jobs post-COVID."

A spokesman for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk remained tight-lipped on any government involvement in the project.

"The Palaszczuk Government is always happy to discuss ideas to support Queensland's economic recovery," the spokesman said.

"It is important ideas are properly assessed to ensure they provide value-for-money for the Queensland taxpayer."

It's been six years since plans for what was then labelled a V8 supercar track at Wellcamp were first raised.

In March of that year, V8 Supercars threw their support behind the push for a permanent circuit at Wellcamp and signed a memorandum of understanding for the track. 

In August 2014, Mr Wagner said engineering and events firm iEDM began preliminary work on the site.

"We've got good topography... we could have a track to rival Bathurst," Mr Wagner said at the time.

"Multi-use sports facility, driver training, and associated automotive business not dissimilar to what hangs off an airport.

"We will work to world's best practice and getting the track geometry and design right with the potential to put lights in and that opens us up to a whole different market again."

In 2017 it was confirmed a site near Wellcamp Airport had been earmarked for the 450-hectare development with a 4.35km track, but no funding agreements had been reached.