CITY’S FUTURE WAITING TO GO
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.