Showground plan could create 86 jobs

AT LEAST 86 jobs could be created through an upgrade of the Mackay showgrounds.

It's something Mackay Show Association manager-secretary Steve Gavioli wants the State Government to be aware of ahead of the Working Queensland Cabinet Committee convening in Mackay today to pinpoint avenues for jobs creation.

While the project is flagged to cost $6.6 million, it would inject $3.5 million into the community.

And thanks to a full costing and plan already laid out, work could begin today if funding was available.

"We've basically come up with a direction paper," Mr Gavioli said. "This shows clearly what needs to be done, what it's going to cost and what the economic benefit will be to Mackay."

The plan is broken into five new projects for the showgrounds: a new equestrian precinct, upgrades to the 500 Pavilion and Big Shed, upgrades to the cattle precinct, a revitalisation of the front entrance and an overhaul of the grandstand and oval.

Jobs and money would primarily be generated through the new equestrian centre, the first of its type in the region.

"At the moment we don't have anywhere that has the ability to stable and accommodate large numbers of horses and campers," Mr Gavioli said.

"We see this as an ideal venue to have a first-class undercover equestrian precinct where major events can be held."

Construction would cost $3.5m, create 50 jobs and generate $2.4m for the community.

Installation of kitchens and audio-visual equipment at the 500 Pavilion and Big Shed is the other major aspect to generate money because the venues could then host more events.

Mr Gavioli said the wooden grandstand had weathered to a point where it was "impossible to keep maintaining" but said the roof would be preserved on new seating.

This would be built in front of the current grandstand.

"Two cranes come in; lift up the roof, the new seating will already be in. The roof gets moved over and connected to the seating," he said.

"The roof needs to be kept. There are very few structures that intricate."


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