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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick
    Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Tuesday, March 03, 2020

    Central Plaza centrepiece opens at James Cook University Douglas campus

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors
    The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

    Tuesday, March 03, 2020

    Central Plaza centrepiece opens at James Cook University Douglas campus

    A new social and entertainment hub in the heart of James Cook University’s urban development project is now open following $5 million in revitalisation works.

    Central Plaza is the centrepiece of a public space network connecting The Science Place and the future Technology Innovation Complex, and features a distinctive curved roof that appears to change shape when viewed from different perspectives.

    Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the Palaszczuk Government’s $5 million co-investment to build Central Plaza created more than 130 jobs during construction and activates part of a much bigger picture for the university.

    “JCU Douglas is transforming and Central Plaza will be fundamental in the growth of the university’s knowledge community and the broader health and knowledge precinct,” Mr Dick said.

    “The $5 million co-investment via our Catalyst Infrastructure Program has facilitated and accelerated this project, which will deliver benefits to students for many years to come.”

    Minister for Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the project supports the next stage of JCU’s transformation, the Ideas Market.

    “Built with a staggering 34 tonnes of structural steel and 470 cubic metres of concrete, the construction of Central Plaza is a fine addition to JCU Douglas,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

    “Along with the connectivity, students and staff will be able to enjoy a large LED screen, seating, 3000 square metres of turf, a water feature, and year-round shade and shelter from Townsville’s climate.”

    JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said Central Plaza was designed by Cox Architecture and will provide students with an enhanced campus experience.

    “The underside of the canopy displays an impressive 405 m² artwork by Indigenous artist Megan Cope as part of her ‘After the Flood’ series,” Prof. Harding said.

    “Consisting of 479 artwork panels, the canopy illustrates how environment, identity, geomorphology and mapping are interwoven over time.

    “The components of Central Plaza are arranged and aligned along the Magnetic Island Axis, which runs through the heart of the campus.

    “This axis links key components of the James Birrell-designed campus including the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library and our connection to the Townsville University Hospital.”

    Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said Central Plaza and the revitalised public precinct would help attract more students to the city.

    “These sorts of additions create a real identity for a campus, and by doing so you’re helping to boost enrolments, both from our region and overseas,” Mr Stewart said.

    Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the delivered hub and green space is an extension of north Queensland.

    “The design, finishes and landscaping all channel the natural beauty and urban identity found in our part of the world. Students will love Central Plaza,” Mr Harper said.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Ben Doyle 0400 775 561