CITY’S FU­TURE WAIT­ING TO GO

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

DE­VEL­OP­ERS are ready to com­mit hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to Townsville’s wa­ter­front once the State Gov­ern­ment and Townsville City Coun­cil pledge to build­ing a se­ries of board­walks and the sta­dium and con­ven­tion cen­tre.

About 4.5km of board­walks, path­ways and bridges will be built along Ross Creek – con­nect­ing the Ross River to The Strand – as part of plans for the Townsville Wa­ter­front Pri­or­ity De­vel­op­ment Area.

The State Gov­ern­ment and the coun­cil – two of the big­gest landown­ers in the area – will look to use money from land sales in the precinct to fund sec­tions of the board­walks and path­ways, es­ti­mated to cost about $ 130 mil­lion.

Devel­oper Peter Hon­ey­combe yesterday said the board­walks and sta­dium would be the “rip­ple that could cre­ate a wave” of in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing more than $ 200 mil­lion in new de­vel­op­ments from Hon­ey­combes Prop­erty Group over the next four years.

“With­out the dec­la­ra­tion of the pri­or­ity de­vel­op­ment area and with­out a bi­par­ti­san com­mit­ment, Hon­ey­combes Prop­erty Group has been able to de­liver over $ 200 mil­lion at Cen­tral Vil­lage over the last eight years,” Mr Hon­ey­combe said.

“With the ap­pro­pri­ate com­mit­ment from gov­ern­ment, we should be able to de­liver the same amount in al­most half the time.

“The to­tal de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial of the pri­or­ity de­vel­op­ment area is nearly $ 2 bil­lion, of which only $ 300 mil­lion com­prises the sta­dium and con­ven­tion cen­tre – so we’re talk­ing about a rip­ple that could cre­ate a wave.”

Mr Hon­ey­combe said de­vel­op­ers would be will­ing to en­ter public- pri­vate part­ner­ships to build the path­ways and board­walks but all lev­els of gov­ern­ment needed to make a com­mit­ment to­wards the sta­dium and

con­ven­tion cen­tre, which is ex­pected to cost about $ 300 mil­lion.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad trav­elled to Townsville yesterday to un­veil the de­vel­op­ment scheme for the 97ha pri­or­ity de­vel­op­ment area, say­ing the plan would trans­form Townsville into a world- class des­ti­na­tion.

Un­der the plan, a one- stop shop for ap­provals will be cre­ated, with de­vel­op­ment ap­proval times cut to no more than 40 busi­ness days.

Ms Trad, whose gov­ern­ment has al­ready com­mit­ted $ 100 mil­lion to­wards the sta­dium pro­ject, said the state was lob­by­ing the Com­mon­wealth for ad­di­tional funds.

Mayor Jenny Hill said it was vi­tal that Townsville res­i­dents took the op­por­tu­nity to have a say dur­ing the public con­sul­ta­tion phase of the plan, which is open un­til Au­gust 18.

“It is im­por­tant the com­mu­nity feels a part of this process and un­der­stands it re­ally is about job cre­ation, that it will help the mums and dads out there in Kelso or North­ern Beaches, it will en­sure their kids are still able to stay in this com­mu­nity be­cause this pro­ject will be cre­at­ing jobs for our peo­ple,” Cr Hill said.

Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man Cr Tony Par­sons said the pro­ject would link Ross River Dam to Pal­larenda.

“That’s a 35km stretch but the miss­ing link is this 4.5km stretch on ei­ther side of Ross Creek and there’s ab­so­lutely no con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the end of that foot­path com­ing in from Ross River along Char­ters Tow­ers Rd to the work that’s been done on The Strand, Jezzine Bar­racks and Pal­larenda,” he said.

PRECINCT 2 — Water­side liv­ing.

PRECINCT 3 — Cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment.

EX­CLU­SIVE cov­er­age of the wa­ter­front vi­sion in yesterday’s Bul­letin.

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