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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    $5 million investment for James Cook University to unlock jobs for Townsville

    Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016

    $5 million investment for James Cook University to unlock jobs for Townsville

    The Palaszczuk Government today announced a $5 million investment for a vibrant, new public space at James Cook University (JCU), which will help unlock an adjacent master planned development and hundreds of future job opportunities for Townsville.

    The public space, to be known as the ‘Ideas Market’, is one of the first projects to be endorsed through the Government’s ‘Catalyst Infrastructure Program’ – established to kick-start projects across Queensland which have incredible potential to accelerate economic and employment growth for a region.

    In announcing the $5 million catalyst investment in Townsville today, Acting Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the benefits of the Ideas Market for Townsville and the wider North Queensland community would be on-going.

    “Once built, the Ideas Market will be a vibrant social and entertainment hub where the university and community can interact, encouraging ideas sharing and innovation,” Ms Trad said.

    “Importantly, once construction starts in August 2016, we expect the Ideas Market will inspire investor confidence to unlock other parts of James Cook University’s $1.7 billion ‘Discovery Rise’ development.

    “Once fully developed, Discovery Rise will transform JCU, connecting the university, Ideas Market and research facilities with a master planned residential and retail development, clinical practice buildings, Townsville Hospital and the Veterinary Hospital.”

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Local Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke welcomed the $5 million investment, which would bring with it enormous potential for employment and economic growth.

    “Initially, the Ideas Market will support 15 jobs over two years including positions for surveyors, builders, landscape architects and electricians,” Ms O’Rourke said.

    “Once this catalyst infrastructure is at play, encouraging further investment and development through Discovery Rise, this urban precinct will support a further 1,249 construction jobs over four years and approximately 800 on-going jobs in fields like research, retail and health services.

    “Discovery Rise and the Ideas Market are exciting projects for Townsville’s economic future, and will create a vibrant new community, with housing for 8,000 residents and facilities to cater for a university population of 13,800 students and more than 3,100 full time university employees.”

    James Cook University Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Services and Resources, Tricia Brand, warmly welcomed the Queensland Government’s support for the project.

    “Discovery Rise is such an exciting development for Townsville and the wider region. The Ideas Market is a crucial part of the overall development, and will provide a catalyst for others to invest in the project,” Ms Brand said.

    “Discovery Rise and its Ideas Market will bring significant and sustained job creation to the benefit of Townsville and the region. It will be a focal point for the Douglas campus and a meeting place for the community.”

    Local Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper welcomed the investment in James Cook University, and in Townsville.

    “This $5 million investment has the potential to unlock $1.7 billion in private sector investment for Discovery Rise, which will mean jobs and economic growth for our region which could not come at a better time,” Mr Harper said.

    The Queensland Government is committing $5 million dollars over two years to the Ideas Market under the Catalyst Infrastructure Program with the money to be recycled back into the Program as the University repays the amount over 10 years.

    For more information about the Catalyst Infrastructure Program visit: dilgp.qld.gov.au/cip

    ENDS

    Images of the Ideas Market (Dropbox link)

    Media Contact: 0488 996 667