Wagners’ $230m Entertainment Precinct Races Ahead


Toowoomba’s Wagner family is moving ahead with ambitious plans for a $230 million motorsport and arts centre in the Queensland city.

The family has outlined plans for a new entertainment precinct, set to incorporate a motorsport circuit, driver-training facility and a 40,000 person performing arts venue, alongside its privately-owned Wellcamp Airport.

The development, which has been touted for a number of years, will also feature dwellings to accommodate up to 5,000 visitors.

Plans for the racetrack were drawn up by engineering firm IEDM with input by Supercars legend Mark Skaife and MotoGP world champion Mick Doohan.

The project also has memorandum of understanding with Supercars for a championship round once the circuit is complete.

The Queensland government, which flagged the project as a potential driver for economic activity in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region, will provide $40 million in funding.

“The Wagner family will invest with the state and federal governments support in the order of $95 million of our assets and funds into this project,” Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said.

John Wagner, whose family is behind plans for a new arts centre in Toowoomba.
▲ Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner. The family built Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport and has supplied materials to other airports including the RAAF Amberley base.

“We are keen to start construction early next year to help kick-start the economy post Covid-19.”

The project is expected to support 130 jobs during construction and up to 2,500 jobs when operational.

Wagners Holding Company, which has 532 full-time employees and contractors, is the largest independently owned cement and building materials manufacturer in south-east Queensland.

It was established in 1989 by Henry, John, Denis, Neill and Joe Wagner, and now commands more than $1.1 billion in wealth. The company was listed on the ASX in 2017.

Wagners specialises in construction materials, producing and selling cement and products such as fly ash and composite fibre building materials to more than 450 customers. It also offers contract crushing and haulage services.

Wagner said work on the Wellcamp project could start as early as next year and could potentially hold an end value of between $250 million with additional facilities.

The precinct could also feature a rally-cross circuit, karting circuit, off-road circuit and tracks, and a smaller concert amphitheatre.

It will sit alongside the family’s Wellcamp Airport, Australia’s first privately-funded public airport, and the first public airport to be built in 50 years.

The airport, which prior to coronavirus restrictions welcomed 1.2 million passengers annually, features a 13,000sq m terminal and boasts four departure gates.

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