25 February 2022
In a massive economic injection for Ipswich sport, Willowbank Raceway has received $11 million to upgrade its facilities from the Federal Government.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding welcomed the funding boost at one of Ipswich’s premiere sporting destinations.
“We welcome Senator Paul Scarr’s announcement that Willowbank Raceway will be receiving $11 million to upgrade the track and venue,” Mayor Harding said.
“These upgrades will support employment opportunities and provide a much-needed boost into the region as we continue our recovery from the pandemic.
“There are many locally-based organisations that use the raceway that will also benefit from improvements including Queensland Police motorcycle training, RAAF dog training and driver training schools.
“This funding will ensure Willowbank Raceway stays at the forefront of drag racing for years to come and will continue to contribute to Ipswich’s broader economy.”
Ipswich Deputy Mayor Councillor Nicole Jonic said the drag strip has come a long way since fans and racers established the track back in the 80s and this funding will ensure the success of the raceway into the future.
“The whole motorsport precinct is a gem in our city and that is why I moved to establish the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct Advisory Group (IMPAG) at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Thursday,” Cr Jonic said.
“The timing is right to establish this group and ensure leaseholders and stakeholder groups have an ability to provide input and recommendations regarding the future of the facility.
“The IMPAG provides a forum to enable issues to be discussed and as a council-run group, we can ensure the principles of good governance are applied to any decision-making processes.”
Senator Paul Scarr said as a Senator based in the Ipswich region, he was delighted to announce the funding.
“I would like to pay tribute to the board, staff, volunteers and of course all participants that make the great Willowbank Raceway,” Senator Scarr said.
“The funding, through the Community Development Grants Program, will enable an exciting improvement to the facility - from upgrades to the track, lighting and carparking, through to new amenities and other building works.
“This funding will generate jobs and economic growth in our Ipswich region. It will attract thousands of people and world-class events.
“Willowbank Raceway is a much-loved venue and this announcement will ensure its future success and growth.”
Mayor Harding said Ipswich has the most dedicated drag racing fans.
“We welcome fans from around the country and the world to events here at Willowbank which will produce an annual estimated boost of $17 million to the city,” Mayor Harding said.
Council also acknowledges the advocacy of Senator Pauline Hanson in securing this funding commitment.
Willowbank Raceway is part of the Ipswich Motorsport Precinct, an Ipswich City Council-owned facility.