Strelow's fast-lane push to bring Super Cars to Rocky
ROCKHAMPTON revheads could be in for a treat if Independent candidate Margaret Strelow's plans for an annual Super Cars event comes through.
The idea has been in Ms Strelow's mind for a while, but now in the midst of a tough election campaign she has decided to put the plans into the fast lane.
Ms Strelow said Super Cars had the potential to inject about $40million a year into Rockhampton's economy.
She said it was also about having fun.
"One weekend - noisy as. There's just no way to get over the fact that it's a noisy event but it's all daytime," Ms Strelow said yesterday as she took The Morning Bulletin on a drive through a proposed route.
"What I've seen in Townsville is that the set-up is a couple of weeks' worth of work, it gets pulled down in around a week.
"But that one weekend has the same economic impact as if it was Beef Australia.
"So, masses of trucks and big rigs, a lot of international media, just really very intense."
Sir Raymond Huish Drive is just one idea that have been put forward by community members for a potential route, but Ms Strelow said it would be up to council to come up with a location that could accommodate "40 big rigs, another 20 rigs that are associated with the media" as well as the pits, and room for the crowds of motoring enthusiasts.
Large concrete barriers would also be a part of the development, and an impact on the free flow of traffic would need to be taken into consideration.
"My understanding of the model for Super Cars is that a good deal of it is that the teams are sponsored by companies who need an avenue to get their product promoted," Ms Strelow said.
"So, it's quite a specialist world and they can really enhance their own image by being associated with the winning teams. So, the whole race industry really relies on these events being held regularly enough to keep the ball rolling and this is a window that we fit into beautifully.
"This is an event that puts our city on the map. For us, bigger picture, we are looking for opportunities to keep our accommodation houses full on weekends as well as weekdays."
As well as the influx of tourists the event would bring, something as regular as this potential event could bring in Super Cars associates to town "for a month or more before the event" and a couple of weeks afterwards, driving up the economic potential.
"I'm confident that council could afford its share, but it would need to be fundamentally funded by state and federal government," Ms Strelow said.
"This is a big tourism product, it's really important for us to build on the great tourism things that we've got happening.
"Barra Bounty is just going from strength to strength, Beef Australia its ramping up to be the biggest and best as they always are. Each one is better than the last. Well, let's look at the Super Cars as filling out and giving us that annual event that lets us fill our accommodation places and have fun."
If council should decide to go ahead with the plan, garners state and federal support and the community backed the proposal, Ms Strelow said she would "put forward for significant investment to make sure that Rockhampton gets its place on that map".
"I think there's a window right now for a proposal to come forward from Rockhampton and it will need support. Council will need to make its decisions," she said.
"There's obviously going to be issues with funding so it's a good time to get this story out.
"Whichever chair I'm sitting in, it's important that we're starting to tell this story.
"We're certainly not ready to talk a figure as a community. We're not ready to put any particular location and council is still going through processes but I think it's just a good time to start to talk about it and look for support."