Mock images of the proposed Harrup Park upgrades, as designed by Cox Architecture.
Mock images of the proposed Harrup Park upgrades, as designed by Cox Architecture.

Queensland election: Arena-sized vision for Mackay’s future

IMAGINE a nation-leading arena capable of hosting major sporting matches, international music acts and festivals right on Mackay’s doorstep.

Think of how the region could benefit from 43 new jobs and $4.4 million in gross regional product.

Well, this state-of-the-art project could soon be a reality if Mackay voters get their way.

The Daily Mercury recently ran a poll asking our readers to have their say on the top projects and initiatives they wanted our politicians to deliver for their region.

Almost 650 votes were cast before the poll closed.

One of the most popular projects from this poll was Harrup Park Country Club’s Great Barrier Reef Arena upgrade.

Thanks to your votes, the Mercury will advocate for our politicians and political hopefuls to commit to delivering this project in the lead up to the October 31 state election.

ARENA PROJECT: An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef Arena. Picture: Cox Architecture
ARENA PROJECT: An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef Arena. Picture: Cox Architecture

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What is the project?

The upgraded arena is anticipated to be one of the nation’s premiere boutique sporting venues, capable of hosting major matches in the Big Bash, Women’s Big Bash and international cricket formats.

It could also bring Australian Football League matches, state league, AFLW and home and away season ­fixtures.

The arena would boast new community leisure facilities and green spaces capable of hosting a variety of community events such as market days, festivals and corporate events.

Other new amenities flagged in the plans include international standard media and players facilities, food and beverage outlets, female change rooms and 2000 extra permanent arena seats.

COMMUNITY BENEFITS

– Delivering $6.1 million to the Mackay region annually

– 43 new jobs

– $4.4 million in gross regional product

– No construction or operating costs to ratepayers

– Event/holiday tourism packages supporting local business

ARENA PROJECT: An artist's impression of the Great Barrier Reef Arena. Picture: Cox Architecture
ARENA PROJECT: An artist's impression of the Great Barrier Reef Arena. Picture: Cox Architecture

MAJOR EVENTS

– More than 25 per cent of event attendees are forecast to be overnight visitors to Mackay

– Major cricket events including BBL, WBBL, Sheffield Shield, Internationals

– AFL matches including AFLW, JLT Series, Gold Coast Suns matches

– Entertainment acts from Australia and overseas

– Large scale community and cultural events

– National and state senior and junior sporting championships

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What is needed?

The arena has already received $10 million in Federal Government funding, but needs matched funding from the state to go ahead.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has committed $10 million to the project.



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