SPORT PRECINCT: Saunders not budging over stadium plan
MARYBOROUGH MP Bruce Saunders claims it would be cheaper and easier to build a football stadium in Maryborough over a proposed plan to build one at the Nikenbah Sport Precinct.
Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Saunders said infrastructure like water and sewerage works for his proposed 15,000 seat stadium was already in place due to the construction of the Maryborough Correctional Centre in 2003.
This is despite saying the Fraser Coast Regional Council would need "a good reason" for him to support any state funding allocated for the development in July, days after the business case for the controversial development was handed down.
The business plan revealed two separate design options, one with the construction of a commercial clubhouse, the other a 10,000 person stadium to host major sporting competitions.
Under the proposal to build the stadium, the cost to construct the precinct could balloon to more than $75 million, while the cost without the stadium would cost about $69 million.
About $11.3 million has already been allocated for stage one of the project.
Mr Saunders, who said he had "glanced over" the business case for the precinct, said he wanted more details on the stadium's development.
"I want to see the lead-up to the roadworks, how transport would work, where the parking would be, future plans to get to and fro from there, that sort of stuff," Mr Saunders said.
"I think it is a visionary project, but I want to delve into it, we need to make sure the funding is right and there's no excess burden."
Mr Saunders said his opinion hadn't changed on the council's proposal to approach State and Federal Governments for funding assistance, saying their plans would be judged "on merit."
"But it's got to measure up, and make sure it dots all the I's and crosses the Ts'," he said.
Plans for a stadium in the Maryborough electorate were first proposed by Mr Saunders in 2016.
Council CEO Ken Diehm said the council was looking forward to "working with the Maryborough MP to achieving an outcome that provides the maximum benefit for the whole region."