Sta­dium kick- off is ‘ only weeks away’

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON

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.

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