AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill last week announced Watpac has been appointed managing contractor to build the $250 North Queensland Stadium.
The project will deliver a 25,000-seat, best practice, purpose-built, regional stadium in time for the commencement of the 2020 NRL season at 17-49 Saunders Street, Railway Estate, Townsville.
According to the tender documents released last year, the project will also allow for the future potential integrated development of an Entertainment Centre on the site and a potential increase in the stadium seating to cater for up to 30,000 seats.
Watpac has 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.
It is expected more than 2,000 people from the Townsville region will be involved in contracts related to the build of the 25,000 seat stadium. Watpac will be targeting 6.6 per cent of the construction workforce to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mr Turnbull, who pledged $100 million towards the stadium as part of an Australian first City Deal, said he was committed to the stadium creating opportunities for the local community.
"This stadium will be built by the people of Townsville. It will increase investment in the region which will give local businesses the opportunity to expand and employ more residents," Mr Turnbull said.
"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."
Queensland Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham said the stadium was going to be a game changer for the North Queensland economy.
"Watpac's winning tender met the contract requirements for maximising local job and training opportunities, including for Indigenous workers, as well as having a long established Townsville presence and outstanding stadia construction experience," Dr Lynham said.
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.