Keppel Bay Sailing Club has recently announced their visionary plan to develop a sporting, tourism and events hub in Yeppoon. The proposed Keppel Bay Convention and Sporting Hub could include a 1,000+ seat Convention Centre, accommodation, retail, as well as support facilities and services.
David Ware, Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s Commodore said “The Keppel Bay Convention and Sporting Hub would transform the tourism offer in Yeppoon and enable a major growth in sports tourism through KBSC’s sailing operations but also other local sports organisations. The Capricorn Coast would attract large corporate events, providing considerable diversification to the local economy and tourism sector.”
Keppel Bay Sailing Club is now seeking support and funding from the Australian Government through its Regional Growth Fund. The Fund provides grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects, which support long term economic growth and create jobs in regions. The Club has submitted an initial application, and hopes in the coming weeks to be invited to the second stage of the application process, which would require the submission of a full Business Case. If successful, the Club plans to leverage a potential grant with further investment from the private sector, not-for-profit organisations and other levels of government to make this exciting vision a reality.
David Ware, also said “The Club has worked with Architects Brand and Slater, Livingstone Shire Council, Regional Development Australia Fitzroy & Central West and Capricorn Enterprise. An independent Economic Impact Assessment was also developed which showed that the proposed Keppel Bay Convention and Sporting Hub would create significant employment opportunities and a real boost to the local economy.”
The Economic Impact Assessment estimated that the project would create, during construction, 71 direct full-time equivalent jobs and 113 indirect jobs. Once operational, Keppel Bay Convention and Sporting Hub would create 29 direct and 12 indirect new full-time equivalent jobs. The project would generate annually a net increase of 24,500 visitors’ nights, equating to a boost of $8.2 million in the local economy annually.
KBSC Manager Julie Strudwick said “The Club currently employs over 125 staff and approximately 75 new employees would be recruited once the project is complete. The project would increase local long term and secure job opportunities, encouraging residents to stay locally, and in particular youth who will benefit from our Award winning training program.”
Regional Development Australia Fitzroy & Central West Chair, Grant Cassidy commended the Club for their vision, giving the RDA’s committee support for the proposed Keppel Bay Convention and Sporting Hub and the application. The project has also received support from Federal Member Michelle Landry, Mayor Bill Ludwig and Livingstone Shire Council, Capricorn Enterprise and State Member Brittany Lauga.
Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll said “The construction of a purpose-built convention centre with the capacity to hold up to 1000 people has been identified as one of our regional Priority Projects since Capricorn Enterprise was formed in 2010.”
“The visitor economy to our region is reliant upon both holiday and business travellers. In order for us to attract more business travellers to the Capricorn Coast who then become holiday travellers, we need a business convention centre on the coast. The economic uplift of the $53 Million Yeppoon town centre and foreshore revitalisation is a prime example of where public-sector investment attracts private sector investment.”
Reference - Capricorn Enterprises