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WORK is about to begin on the new Olympic-standard rowing facility on the Wyaralong Dam.

Rowing Queensland CEO, Murray Stewart, says Rowing Queensland expect to take delivery of about 3000 specialised European buoys and lanyards in the first week of December.

The 10-lane, 2000m rowing course will be installed on the dam, close to the access road and recreational area prior to Christmas, ready for the Queensland State Rowing Championships on January 23 and 24.

Mr Stewart says it’s a significant milestone for Queensland rowing.

“This is the only Olympic standard course in south-east Queensland,” he says.

“It’s a $400,000 investment in the course alone and it’s been funded 50-50 by the State Government and Rowing Queensland.

“We’re starting with the course and over the years we will construct other infrastructure around the dam to support rowing activities over coming years.”

Mr Stewart says the establishment of the Wyaralong Rowing facility marks the end of many years of investigation to identify a suitable site.

He says Rowing Queensland travelled around south-east Queensland and even considered converting a disused quarry.

But he says Wyaralong Dam was deemed ideal because of its ‘great water’.

“It’s smooth,” he explains.

“You can imagine the coastal courses get a lot of sea breezes. On Wyaralong it’s very smooth. We believe Wyaralong will become more of a training facility than a racing facility. Sure there’s going to be an Olympic standard 2km course but there’s another 12.5km of water for people to row.

“We envisage holding training camps and big events. There will be three GPS boys regattas held there next year, plus the state championships.

“The training camps will bring massive benefits to the local community because all of those people will need to stay, eat and do other things in the local area.“

The Wyaralong Rowing Club has been established and local rowing enthusiasts will be able to use the facility and become involved in the sport. Mr Stewart says boat storage facilities are also part of future plans for the site.

“The world is our oyster,” he says.

“It’s going to be about what the community wants and where we see the opportunities are. We could eventually have international training facilities out there, the Queensland Academy of Sport may develop a facility out there. We’re just going in with our eyes wide open and listening.”

Mr Stewart met with Scenic Rim accommodation providers recently to discuss how their businesses can benefit from the facility.

They were invited to create packages for rowing groups and join a preferred supplier list.

“There’s a lot of opportunity,” he says.

“Rowing camps would usually be in the area for a week and schools may bring up to 90 children out there. We need a range of services for these groups.”

If you’re interested in the opportunities for your business please email Scenic Rim Regional Council Tourism Development Officer Brent Randall