Government commits $25 million to redevelop Browne Park
The Queensland Government has committed $25 million to the redevelopment of Rockhampton’s traditional home of rugby league.
The funds will help deliver a new grandstand at Browne Park to boost its capacity to 10,000 and enable the ground to eventually host NRL matches.
The announcement comes just a week after One Nation Federal Senator Pauline Hanson announced $23 million of funding towards the construction of a new 8,500-seat rectangular stadium 1km away adjacent to the Rocky Sports Club.
The location of a new or upgraded Rockhampton stadium has been a talking point for years, with some considering Browne Park’s location as poor due to it being in a residential area with limited parking and room to grow.
While the Victoria Park site adjacent to the Rocky Sports Club is larger and closer to Rockhampton’s CBD, the site has been prone to flooding in the past.
Browne Park last hosted an NRL trial game in 2010 between the Broncos and Storm and also a Rugby League World Cup fixture in 2008. It’s hoped the upgrade will attract more events to the city and eventually a premiership fixture.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Central Queensland Regional Recovery Action Plan funding will deliver the first phase of the Browne Park redevelopment, which in time would enable the ground to stage NRL games along with concerts and performances of international significance.
Advising that the first phase of construction could create around 60 jobs, Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke stated "we live in rugby league heartland.
“Rocky is an NRL nursery and we want the NRL to give something back to Central Queensland for the stars we’ve produced over the years.
“At the moment, Browne Parke is not big enough to attract high-profile events, so we miss out.
“Today we outline Stage 1 - a rebuild of the western-side Jack Crow Stand to offer nearly 4,000 seats - and commit to a Master Plan that adds seating and facilities to the Albert and George streets sides in later stages.
“The end design allows - through contemporary construction - to design for more than 9,000-plus seats being achieved without having to close off Murray Street.”