STADIUM PROPOSAL: Following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s visit to Browne Park with Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke last year, her government has revealed more information regarding their plans for a stadium upgrade at the site.
STADIUM PROPOSAL: Following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s visit to Browne Park with Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke last year, her government has revealed more information regarding their plans for a stadium upgrade at the site.

Browne Park stadium future could be known within weeks

A STADIUM promises to put Rockhampton on the map but progress towards it has been frustratingly slow to date.

But with an election around the corner, that could soon be about to change.

To date, the Queensland Government has remained tight-lipped on details regarding the fate of Rockhampton’s proposed Browne Park Stadium project.

Getting started on the long awaited project has the potential to stimulate the Rockhampton economy and employment following the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke was elected in 2017 promising a feasibility study into the project – the results of which still remain unpublicised years on from the study’s completion.

STADIUM PLAN: The people of CQ are waiting for an announcement on the Browne Park Stadium upgrade following the completion of a feasibility study.
STADIUM PLAN: The people of CQ are waiting for an announcement on the Browne Park Stadium upgrade following the completion of a feasibility study.

Mr O’Rourke ­accompanied Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to the site of the stadium last July with the Premier saying at the time the project had her support and she hoped Cabinet would consider it by the end of the year.

When asked for an update on the project during her visit to Rockhampton last week, the Premier said Cabinet was now “looking at shovel ready ideas”.

“We are looking at key ­infrastructure across Queensland and that will factor into it. I can’t give a timeline at the moment,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk and Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke at Browne Park
Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk and Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke at Browne Park

A Queensland Government spokesperson said the State Government was currently assessing a plan for a major upgrade of Browne Park.

“All proposals must go through a thorough due diligence process to protect taxpayers,” the spokesperson said.

“The outcome of this assessment will be made public soon.”

The Morning Bulletin ­understands that an ­announcement could be coming about a potential staged rollout of the project within weeks.

Queensland Senator Matt Canavan said he was looking forward to seeing more details about the Browne Park proposal.

Member of the Management of Browne park Incorporated Rob Crow has lobbied hard to see a stadium built at Rockhampton’s spiritual home of rugby league, Browne Park.
Member of the Management of Browne park Incorporated Rob Crow has lobbied hard to see a stadium built at Rockhampton’s spiritual home of rugby league, Browne Park.

“I also think the proposed (Rocky) stadium at the Rocky Sports Club is worthy of consideration,” Senator Canavan said.

“We really need to find a way to come up with the option that best helps Rockhampton.”

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has previously offered “in-principle support” to the Browne Park proposal.

“As with every major ­infrastructure project, the jobs that come along with the construction of the stadium and the ongoing jobs will be a massive boost to the local economy,” Ms Landry said.

“(It) would be a drawcard for major attractions looking to come to Central Queensland.”

ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry speaking at the first annual dinner for the Rocky Sports Club last year where an alternative Rocky Stadium proposal was revealed.
ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry speaking at the first annual dinner for the Rocky Sports Club last year where an alternative Rocky Stadium proposal was revealed.

But she doesn’t think Browne Park was the best location for a stadium in the region.

“As it stands, there are ­significant concerns with it being potentially built in a residential area and the lack of parking for thousands of spectators,” Ms Landry said.

“I believe the Rocky Sports Club at Victoria Park is the best location for a potential sports stadium in Rockhampton

“I fully support the committee in achieving their goal and making it a reality.”

Members of the Browne Park Trust were contacted for comment, but did not respond by time of publication.

CONCEPT IMAGES: This is an artist's impression of how the proposed Rocky Stadium would appear.
CONCEPT IMAGES: This is an artist's impression of how the proposed Rocky Stadium would appear.