Stadium kick- off is ‘ only weeks away’
CONSTRUCTION on the $ 250 million Townsville CBD stadium has been fast- tracked to begin on August 18.
The State Government announced in May the first sod would be turned in September.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was “game on”.
“Construction of North Queensland Stadium will kick off on August 18, on the eve of the Cowboys’ clash with defending NRL premiers, the Sharks,” she said. “This is a major milestone for rugby league and North Queensland.”
Five trades packages for the development have already been awarded.
Various ideas for multi- purpose uses for the stadium have also been suggested, including offering tourism experiences such as walks along its roof.
Many aspects are yet to be decided, including what cor- porate facilities it will house and whether it will be home to a statue of Cowboys and Origin great Johnathan Thurston.
The Premier said the stadium would guarantee jobs.
“We had planned for construction to be under way by the end of September, so to turn the first sod in August is great news,” she said.
“I want to again thank the people of Townsville and North Queensland for campaigning with my government for the stadium.
“We are investing $ 140 million in this stadium because it will deliver jobs for North Queensland.”
Mayor Jenny Hill said everyone was keen to “really show” that the facility was more than just a stadium.
“There are significant job opportunities,” she said. “The fact that the Government and Watpac are pushing this through as quick as possible is great.”
Cr Hill said Townsville City Council had played a significant role in the project.
“The stadium will attract new investment into the city,” she said.
“This is the first part of delivering on those commitments.
“We’re hearing that a lot of local businesses are gearing up for the contracts and of course we’ve already had some positive feedback. It’s becoming a real win- win.”
Ms Palaszczuk will be in Townsville this weekend for the Australian Labor Party state conference and will address the event on Saturday.