New home for North Queensland Cowboys

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, along with Queensland State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill have announced Watpac as managing contractor to build the $250 million North Queensland Stadium.

The winning tender meets the requirements for maximising local job and training opportunities, including for Indigenous workers.

To achieve its local contact goal, Watpac will use the ICN Gateway to source suppliers for the project. The company has also outlined a plan for more than 80 per cent of hours spent building the stadium to be by locals, and at least 80 per cent of the value of the project to be spent on local subcontractors and suppliers.

So far 443 companies have registered their interest in work packages through the Gateway, with 41 per cent based in North Queensland.

The stadium project will result in a 25,000 seat, best practice, purpose-built, regional stadium in time for the commencement of the 2020 NRL season.

It is expected that Watpac will engage more than 2,000 people, including more than three quarters from the Townsville region. Watpac has also committed to targeting 6.6 per cent of the workforce to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Federal Government has pledged $100 million towards the stadium as part of an Australian first City Deal. In a media release, Mr Turnbull said he was committed to the stadium creating opportunities for the local community.

‘This stadium will be built by the people of Townsville,’ he said.

‘It will increase investment in the region which will give local businesses the opportunity to expand and employ more residents.’

‘North Queensland stadium is the centrepiece of Australia’s first City Deal, right here in Townsville. Right across the board, every lever of the Commonwealth, State Government and the Townsville City Council is working together to create jobs and a more liveable city that drives the North Queensland economy.’

This project will provide a number of benefits for Townsville and the region, including:

  • Expansion of North Queensland infrastructure
  • Job creation and flow-on economic benefits
  • Stimulation of urban renewal
  • Enhancement of North Queensland liveability
  • Raising the profile of the North Queensland region which is expected to result in:
    • Investment in other parts of North Queensland
    • Increasing the regions sporting and events capability
    • Attraction of more domestic and international visitors to Townsville.

ICN consultant, Abhiney Arora said the Department of State Development would provide updates to businesses that expressed interest for work packages on Gateway.

‘This is expected to provide the catalyst needed to generate renewed interest and economic activity in and around the Townsville CBD.’

Some newspapers have also reported that Queensland Rugby League will recommend that Townsville host a State of Origin game at the new stadium.

The North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council and is supported by both the National Rugby League and the North Queensland Cowboys. The North Queensland Stadium forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in 2016.

For more information go to ICN Gateway.