SO ARE WE THERE YET?

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

THE $ 250 mil­lion Townsville sta­dium project of­fers low hang­ing fruit for busi­nesses with the gump­tion to grab the op­por­tu­ni­ties on of­fer.

There are 32 open list­ings avail­able at ICN Gate­way as part of con­struc­tion of the sta­dium with jobs rang­ing from ma­sonry, se­cu­rity, hy­draulic ser­vices and sig­nage to car­pen­try projects.

The to­tal num­ber of work pack­ages is ex­pected to reach 80.

ICN brings to­gether sup­pli­ers and project own­ers to­gether on its ex­ten­sive data­base.

The new sta­dium in Saun­ders St in Rail­way Es­tate will have a 25,000 seat ca­pac­ity and will be pur­pose- built for NRL.

Con­struc­tion of the project will be de­liv­ered by Wat­pac and the com­pany has pledged that 80 per cent of the value of the project will be spent on lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

Also, more than 80 per cent of hours spent build­ing the sta­dium will be done by lo­cals.

The com­mit­ment is im­por­tant be­cause the de­vel­op­ment falls out­side the La­bor’s Govern­ment’s Buy Queens­land pro­cure­ment pol­icy.

Un­der that pol­icy a lo­cal sup­plier is a busi­ness in Aus­tralia or New Zealand within 125km of where goods or work­ers are needed.

It is to be hoped Wat­pac will fol­low the spirit of this pol­icy if not the let­ter of the new law.

This is key be­cause of the eco­nomic mul­ti­plier ef­fect Townsville will likely re­ceive from lo­cal busi­nesses get­ting the job.

A Chi­nese com­pany might, for ex­am­ple, be able to do the job 10 per cent cheaper.

But in this sce­nario the Townsville firm should still be pre­ferred be­cause they would hire lo­cal work­ers who would in turn spend their money lo­cally.

This is the vir­tu­ous cy­cle of in­vest­ing in the lo­cal econ­omy.

All Townsville needs to cap­i­talise are busi­nesses and con­trac­tors with the re­source­ful­ness to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity.

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