15,000-seat stadium on Saunders' wishlist for region
A STADIUM with the capacity to seat up to 15,000 people will be built on the Fraser Coast in the next few years - that is, if Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders gets his way.
After seeing Townsville secure government funding for a new stadium, Mr Saunders has begun gauging community support to see if something similar could be built locally.
What would you prefer, a stadium or sport precinct for the Fraser Coast?
This poll ended on 23 June 2016.
I am in favour of a stadium
I would prefer the sport precinct
I don't think either are needed for the region
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The Member for Maryborough confirmed he was discussing the idea with his ministerial colleagues and flagging the project for future budgets.
"Eventually we will have a stadium built so we can have NRL, AFL or a top-rate soccer game," he said.
"A 10,000 or 15,000-seat stadium where we can get the Brisbane Broncos here.
"The money that's invested in the community is phenomenal."
No cost estimates have been provided, but similar stadiums in Mackay and on the Sunshine Coast were costed at about $12 million.
Mr Saunders said it would be an alternative to the controversial Fraser Coast sports precinct.
"I'm not in favour of the sports precinct as it is - It doesn't wash with me," he said. While supportive of Mr Saunders' enthusiasm to improve regional sporting infrastructure, councillor Stuart Taylor, who has pioneered the push for the sports precinct, said it would lure major matches.
"It's important to get those big-ticket games - a high-profile football match," Cr Taylor said.
"We need to start talking about a 10,000 seat capacity ground.
"The premium fields (to be built) in the sports precinct could cater for that."
Cr Taylor said the sports precinct would address the need for a large stadium while increasing the fields local sporting clubs could train on.
"The biggest problem we currently face, we are sitting on a deficit of space for people to train and play on," he said.
"Within 20 years that will be a 156ha deficit in Hervey Bay green space for kids to play sport.
"My personal view is the sport precinct could achieve both outcomes.
"I'd thoroughly support it and I'd be happy to see Bruce advocate on it on our behalf."
But Mr Saunders said the current sports precinct design "would not suit" a large central stadium due to having "too many fields around it".
While acknowledging the stadium was "not going to happen overnight", Mr Saunders warned against other areas stealing the infrastructure. "If we don't act on it Bundaberg will grab it," he said.
"They're one of our biggest threats - we'll be Malcolm in the Middle again."
Mr Saunders said the stadium could be built at the Maryborough Showgrounds or at Nikenbah.