Big firms eye CBD action
Stadium and convention centre attract national and overseas interest
MAJOR national and international companies are considering investing in the proposed stadium and convention centre in Townsville’s CBD.
The Bulletin understands that a number of companies have already expressed interest in the project including AECOM, Jacobs and Spotless.
It comes as the Queensland Government has hired con- sultant KPMG to undertake a business case into the project, which will look at the prospect of companies entering publicprivate partnerships to invest in the development.
KPMG, which undertook the original feasibility study into the project in 2013, will be in Townsville next week and will be urged by city leaders to focus on delivering an integrated facility – including a 25,000- seat stadium, 6000seat convention centre and an Indigenous Centre for Excellence – by 2021.
The State Government has committed $ 100 million towards the stadium component of the project and is calling on the Federal Government to match its commitment. Townsville Enterprise chief executive Patricia O’Callaghan said the business case would provide the detailed costs and time frames to allow the community to better lobby the Federal Government for a funding commitment.
“The State Government has confirmed that the business case will look at the practicality of private sector involvement in the project,” she said.
“We welcome this opportunity but maintain that State and Federal Governments must provide the bulk of fund- ing to ensure the integrated project proceeds.
“Already large international firms such as AECOM and Jacobs have expressed strong interest in being involved in either the construction or operation of the facility,” she said.
“We understand that more companies have approached the State Government directly and this is a positive sign that the project is a real goer.”
A spokeswoman for State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said $ 5 million had been allocated towards the business case with any unused funds to be used for the project in the future.
“KPMG will review the findings of the feasibility study completed in 2013, ensure it is current, and confirm the scope of the project. After all, it’s almost two years since the study was undertaken,” the spokeswoman said.
“Detailed information regarding the proposed stadium, such as the potential size, seating capacity, location, and staging options, for example, will be developed as part of the scoping exercise. The business case will investigate funding.”