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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Construction underway on Townsville’s cruise ship terminal


    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Thursday, October 06, 2011

    Construction underway on Townsville’s cruise ship terminal

    Premier Anna Bligh today turned the first sod on the $118 million upgrade of Townsville Port.

    A new passenger terminal will be built to lure lucrative cruise ships to the city and Berth 10 will be rebuilt and lengthened to accommodate Australia’s massive new warships.

    Berth 8 will also be upgraded to secure the long-term export future of mineral concentrates and fertiliser product from northwest Queensland, worth more than $1 billion a year to the State economy.

    “It’s projects like this that are changing the face of Townsville and propelling the city forward to the next stage of growth and prosperity,” Ms Bligh said.

    “It will mean more cruise ships, navy ships and commercial vessels using Townsville Port and injecting millions into the local economy.”

    “Three of Townsville’s most important economic drivers come together in this project – tourism, defence and commercial shipping.

    Major works include:

    • A modern passenger terminal will be built to welcome passengers from cruise ships and visiting navy vessels
    • Berth 10 will be extended to accommodate the new Canberra class amphibious assault ships and strengthened to handle the movement of heavy-armoured vehicles and equipment.
    • Berth 8 will be upgraded to accommodate Panamax-sized commercial ships and a 3000 tonne-an-hour ship loader will be constructed.

    “Only 5% of cruise passengers visiting Queensland come ashore in Townsville.

    “Now with a dedicated cruise ship facility Townsville can market itself as a first rate destination for cruise ships with each stopover injecting up to $1 million into the local economy.

    “First impressions count and the terminal - with views of Magnetic Island, Ross Creek and Castle Hill - will create a stunning first impression of North Queensland.

    “When not in use as a terminal it will not just sit idle but will host public functions and exhibitions,” she said.

    Queensland Senator Jan McLucas said the cruise terminal project delivers on the Gillard Labor Government’s 2010 election commitment to support this vital port expansion for the region.

    “The project will create a world-class connection between city and port,” Senator McLucas said.

    “We are committed to delivering economic benefits for North Queensland and this is a great example of how we are creating immediate jobs through the construction phase as well as ongoing jobs once the terminal is finished and operational.

    “The $34 million federal investment in this project comes on top of the investment we are making in the Douglas Arterial, the Townsville Port Access Road and the fourth Stage of the Townsville Ring Road.

    “Our investment will help keep the Townsville community and economy strong.”

    The Premier said the upgrade of Berth 10 was essential because of Townsville’s role as one of two primary locations in Australia for the mounting of Australian Defence Force operations.

    “3 RAR has relinquished its parachute capability and is moving to Townsville where, as part of 3rd Brigade, it will retrain for Air Mobile and Amphibious Operations.

    “Two Canberra class amphibious assault ships are under construction with the first due in 2014.

    “They will be the largest warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy - capable of carrying 12 helicopters, M1 Abrams tanks and 1000 troops.

    “Without the extension to Berth 10, Townsville Port would have been unable to accommodate these new amphibious assault ships.

    “An upgraded Berth 10 will also enable Townsville to handle more visits from allied warships involved in training exercises or rest and recreation stop overs with visiting sailors spending up to $1 million a day,” Ms Bligh said.

    The Marine Infrastructure Minister Craig Wallace said the project was great news for local jobs.

    “Up to 400 jobs will be created and supported during the course of this project,” Mr Wallace said.

    “There will be benefits for local tradespeople and suppliers who look to major projects such as this for business.

    “In the coming weeks we’ll see the activity here ramp up with load testing, piling, and then demolition and construction.”

    Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone said: “We are serious about being Queensland’s second capital, and the increased flexibility the port will achieve from the Berth 10 upgrade only enhances Townsville's reputation as 'the' place to do business in the North.

    “In 2009, Townsville experienced the disappointment of turning away the USS Essex, along with the millions in tourism dollars that would’ve come with the visit.

    “This expansion will dramatically increase Townsville’s potential to capitalise on these types of opportunities and will boost our credentials as a major defence, industry and tourism hub.

    "When completed visitors to the region will be given the proper welcome they deserve thanks to the new passenger terminal. All this, linked to the spectacular Palmer St and in full view of our iconic Castle Hill."

    The $85 million Berth 10 project is jointly funded with the State Government contributing $36.16 million, the Federal Government $34 million, Port of Townsville Limited $10 million, while the Townsville City Council is investing $4.84 million to upgrade connecting roads.

    The Port of Townsville is funding the $33 million upgrade of Berth 8 scheduled for completion in mid-2012.

    The project will be delivered by the Seymour Whyte/Smithbridge Joint Venture, with both berths and the Cruise Terminal expected to be operational by mid-2013.

    Xstrata will invest in a new ship loader and conveyors on the refurbished berth, with the new facilities to be operational by mid-2013.

    MEDIA CONTACT: Minister for Marine Infrastructure - 07 3896 3691

    Premier’s Office - 07 3224 4500

    Senator McLucas’ office - 0408 743 457