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Huge motorsports complex planned for The Gold Coast
The Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia risks losing the multimillion-dollar sport of motor racing as approval for a massive $650 million complex remains knotted in red tape.

The massive facility housing all motorsports, had been earmarked for Norwell.

The complex would comprise professional testing tracks and facilities for amateurs, a hotel and industrial facilities.

The cost of the project was estimated at $650 million and, if approved, would essentially become a satellite city for all motorsports.

Approval for the I-METT project is pending, with a decision on the project expected later this year.

The proposed motor racing circuit will be designed by world-famous Architect, Herman Tilke.

The track will be constructed to the latest international FIA and FIM specifications, catering for international and national events involving cars, motorcycles, rally and other.

With top quality spectator facilities, the track will have permanent ‘stadium-style’ seating.

If it goes ahead, the facility will include botanic park environment and incorporate a series of inter-related precincts around a world-class motor racing circuit, including tourism, sports, television, technology, education and accommodation.

The precinct will inject million of dollars into the economy and create more than 5000 jobs.

Managing director Ron Brown said the project was ready to go.

"We have not been affected by the economic crisis. We are committed to this project. We are simply waiting for approval."

"It would be a tremendous attraction for the Gold Coast.

"We would construct a track that would be certainly the best in the southern hemisphere, but one of the top 10 in the world.

"It would be capable of hosting any event, at any level."

The I-METT team has already held talks with international motor sport associations who have expressed interest in holding world-class events on the Gold Coast.

Mr. Brown said despite the economic climate, it was the right time for such a project.

"It would not be completed until 2011 and it would create thousands of jobs."

The city has earned a solid reputation with motoring enthusiasts as the base for a number of V8 Supercar teams and the host of the popular Indy event.

But rally driver and enthusiast Shaun Brown said that in the past three decades, there had been no resources allocated to any motor sport in the city.

As the suburban sprawl inches closer to established tracks, clubs are being forced to close or severely restrict their operations.

"It really is a huge sport and there are a lot of people willing to travel and pay to use facilities," said Mr. Brown.

It has been conservatively estimated that motorsport enthusiasts inject about $20 million into the Gold Coast economy annually.

Mr. Brown said with new facilities, that number could skyrocket and make the Gold Coast a year-round destination for motor sports.

There are nine clubs on the Gold Coast catering for two and four-wheel motorsport. Of these clubs, five presently have leased or owned facilities.

There are four clubs who have no facilities or grounds at present and for which there are no alternative facilities available within the city.

Of the clubs that presently have access to land or own facilities, each is either approaching an expiring lease term or have been given notice that their property is to be resumed.

With tourism worth more than $1.2 billion a year to the Gold Coast, industry experts agree saving tourism is key to the economic survival of the city. The Gold Coast Rescue Patrol '09 on Friday, headed by The Bulletin and supported by the Gold Coast City Council and Griffith University, is aiming to assemble the city's best minds and most innovative ideas to find ways to stimulate the region's economy. Goldcoast.com

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