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Skeeta

Another pipe dream they call news

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Plans for $2.5bn motorsport precinct Shannon Willoughby, chief reporter   |  January 11th, 2013 Silvina Frank and Ron Brown, of i-mett, plan to build a motorsports precinct near Norwell. Inset, a similar attraction, Ferrari World, in Abu Dhabi. Pic: Supplied BOLD plans to build a $2.5 billion super motorsports precinct, including a car-themed amusement park and a race track on sugarcane land at Norwell, are to be lodged with the State Government later this year. Gold Coast developer IMETT is pressing ahead with a proposal to buy up farms at Norwell in the city's north to make way for an "international attraction" tipped to create 2000 jobs through the construction phase. But the plans have come under fire from both councillors Donna Gates and Cameron Caldwell, who feel the project is a "land grab" for a residential development. The area, zoned as agricultural land and outside the urban footprint, has often been touted as a future development site and it is understood IMETT is only one party looking at the area. IMETT managing director Ron Brown said the company was not interested in building homes, but rather an "international attraction" also featuring a hospitality educational precinct, a boutique hotel, botanic gardens, bars and restaurants. Have your say on the feedback form below   Mr Brown said the proposal was 10 years in the making, with IMETT scouring the Queensland coast for a site in 2003, before seeing it knocked back by the then-co-ordinator-general in 2010. He said the site was between 500 to 600ha, with many of the farmers awaiting approval before they considered selling up. He said he had since met with the State Government and would lodge the relevant application in April under the significant project scheme. A spokesman for the department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning last night confirmed the company had met its executives and had been advised to provide more information to the Co-ordinator-General. Mr Brown said he had engaged international companies Forrec, a Canadian theme park developer, and Tilke, a German racetrack designer, to develop a masterplan to present to the decision-makers. The former airline industry executive said the site would also include a light rail link from a proposed heavy rail station at Yatala and he had begun discussions with European tram developer Bombardier to provide the linkage. Despite the bold vision, Cr Caldwell said he felt the developers were using "bingo words" to try and assume a prime site without the proper development of a masterplan. "It is fair to recognise in years to come there may be a move away from canefarming industry. Rather than an ad hoc approach with bingo words like hotels, race tracks and theme parks, we need a transitional masterplan to map out the area in the event that the sugar industry was to not continue," he said. Cr Gates said the canegrowers were divided. Mr Brown said he had secured funding from UK and US investors.

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- cost of delivering this project as outlined $2.5b - cost of emailing news releases to media outlets to get name in the newspaper like a star-struck kid $ZERO I Guarantee you, we can all come back here 5yrs from now and ZERO is all that will have happened regards this project. By the way, I too have spoken to the same "US and UK investors", you know them well too, in your dreams every morning at 2am.......

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