The Bend: the cradle of motorsport in South Africa

The first project is a new $30 million dragway that will enable The Bend to host full-length (quarter-mile) Grade A events once built, helping to bring new events to Australia- Southern.

This is expected to attract over 120,000 participants per year, create over 200 jobs and generate over $13 million in economic activity per year. The new dragway will receive $2 million from the Liberal Marshall Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The Liberal Marshall Government also announced today that it will invest in The Bend’s Big4 holiday park, committing half a million dollars for a $1.6 million upgrade to the park.

Premier Steven Marshall said Bend Motorsport Park is the natural home for all motorsport in South Australia.

“We want to make The Bend the unequivocal home of motorsport in South Australia,” said Premier Marshall.

“By investing $2.5 million to support a brand new track and a major redevelopment of the accommodation available at The Bend, we will see a massive influx of new events, new people and, as a result, the creation of hundreds of jobs.

Bend Motorsport Park General Manager Sam Shahin welcomed the additional support from the state government.

“Infrastructure support is key to increasing the number of visits to the region. The Coorong, Murray River and Lakes region has so much to offer in terms of unique opportunities for visitors. The Bend is committed to the region and to growing the visitor economy in South Australia,” he said.

“Investing in The Bend Holiday Park allows us to broaden our visitor experiences and attract even more people to the area. We have enjoyed hosting visitors from around the world, from interstate vacationers to locals looking to explore SA, and large school groups camping on-site using the destination as a base for regional tours.

South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex said it was great news for tourism operators in Murray River, Lakes & Coorong.

“This is one of the largest recent investments in the area, alongside the new Bridgeport Hotel at Murray Bridge,” Mr Harrex said.

“We have seen accommodation occupancy in the South Australian region hit an all-time high for the March quarter of 2021, so there is strong visitor demand for this.

“Anything that helps expand The Bend’s visitor offerings and experiences, increase accommodation options in our areas, and give visitors more reasons to linger longer is good news for SA.”

More information about the Dragway:

  • The facility is expected to host 55 events per year which are expected to attract over 120,000 attendees.
  • The Dragway will also support an economy of drag racing industries including automotive suppliers, machinists, engine builders, fabricators, frame builders, painters and mechanics.
  • Nearly $30 million will be spent on construction and will generate 197 construction jobs and secure 15 permanent jobs at Bend Motorsport Park. It is also estimated that it will support around $27.7 million to the state’s economy.
  • Dragway events each year are estimated to generate new state spending of $13.37 million and support a total of 82 regional jobs.
  • The construction company is South Australian, so the expenses stay in South Australia.
  • Once complete, National events will take place at the Dragway, with championship rounds already confirmed subject to construction.

More information about the Big4 holiday park upgrade:

  • The project includes 10 self-contained one-bedroom chalets, windbreaks, mini-golf, a multi-sports area with half a basketball court, football nets and a BMX park, the creation of a discovery trail of nature and the construction of a recreation room.
  • The redevelopment is expected to strengthen the site as a gateway to the Coorong, as well as increase interstate and intrastate visitation to the region.
  • The grant is the latest to be announced as part of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s $20 million Tourism Industry Development Fund.

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