The family that built Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba has ambitious plans for another big project which could create up to 400 jobs.
The family that built Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba has ambitious plans for another big project which could create up to 400 jobs.

Wagner family’s new $250m entertainment, sports complex

John Wagner dropped a heckuva teaser on Tuesday.

The wealthy Toowoomba industrialist revealed plans for the first time about a proposed entertainment and motor sports complex next to his family's Wellcamp Airport.

The Wagner Group chairman said work on the ambitious project should kick off next year and it would have an end value of between $230 million and $250 million.

World 'awash with money' needs somewhere to invest

Notably, he told a Brisbane Club luncheon that he and his family were willing to invest between $90 million and $100 million of their own fortune into the scheme, which would create 300 to 400 jobs. Sounds a bit like their self-funded airfield!

John Wagner at Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Kevin Farmer
John Wagner at Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Five years after first toying with the idea, Wagner told City Beat later that new road and rail access to Wellcamp could help make the project not only a major drawcard for Toowoomba but for the state as a whole.

Obviously it would aim to take the shine off the Gold Coast Indy and Ipswich's motorsport precinct, as well.

Plenty about the project still remains shrouded in mystery and Wagner was reluctant to reveal more details, such as who would pay for the balance.

But talks have already taken place with state and federal government players so you can reasonably expect an announcement soon from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ahead of next month's election.

As if to help his case, Wagner praised Palaszczuk for her hardline stance on keeping the border closed though the policy has hurt his business interests and drawn heaps of criticism. "She's shown a lot of courage,'' he said.


MOVING AGAIN

Wagner casually mentioned this head-turning bit of news as one of the panellists at Michael Johnson's East Coast Forum event, which was focused on shaking off the COVID-19 blues and getting the state moving again.

As you might expect, the talk routinely kept circling back to our looming bid for the 2032 Olympic Games and the multiple benefits that would flow from hosting the event.

That wasn't terribly surprising seeing as footy legend Johnathan Thurston and beach volleyball Olympian Natalie Cook were among the guest speakers.

Johnathan Thurston
Johnathan Thurston

Cook, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her glorious win at the Sydney games, is so amped up about the Queensland tilt she even flashed some five-ring Olympic glasses and showed off her gold medal.

Thurston, who now runs his own youth-focused academy, talked up the benefits of the North Queensland Cowboys' planned high-performance centre in Townsville. "Sport unites and has the power to create social change. We need the Olympics,'' he said.

Among those spied taking it all in were plenty of other sporting types, including Jeff Horn, Tim Horan and Corey Parker.

TURNING THE SCREWS

The corporate watchdog keeps turning the screws against four gents who oversaw the debacle that was Linchpin Capital Group and related entity Endeavour Securities.

ASIC revealed this week that it had launched Federal Court proceedings against Ian Williams, Paul Raftery, Paul Nielsen and Peter Daly for allegedly breaching their director's duties over the operation of the now-defunct companies.

The regulator is seeking unspecified civil penalties, a declaration of breaches of the Corporations Act and the disqualification of the four men to act as company directors.

Back in May, ASIC slapped Daly, Williams and Raftery each with a five-year ban from working in the financial services sector.

The move comes nearly two years after the agency first took legal action in Brisbane against Linchpin and Endeavour, which operated two managed investment schemes valued at about $20 million.

 

 

They each provide secured loans to the property and wider corporate sectors.

ASIC alleged that Linchpin lacked a financial services license and the directors had used investor funds for their own purposes without adequate disclosure.

It claimed Endeavour had entered into related party transactions and failed to properly reveal these deals.

None of the four gents could be reached for comment but Daly has lodged an appeal against his banning.

 

 

Originally published as Wagner family's new $250m project


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