Premier Anna Bligh today officially opened the $110 million first stage of the Townsville Marine Precinct at the mouth of the Ross River.
Ms Bligh said the delivery of another major infrastructure project for Townsville was an important milestone in the continued transformation of the city.
'There is now a dedicated home and a safer and cleaner environment for the city’s commercial fishing fleet, marine fabrication and repair industries, marine research facilities and other marine operators,' she said.
'This 18-hectare project has been a major engineering feat, with workers using 450,000 tonnes of rock from five quarries, and driving 238 piles and 1,800 stabilising stone columns over 14 months of construction.
'The project is a credit to all who worked on it,' she said.
The opening marks the completion of contracted works by Port of Townsville Limited and Laing O’Rourke Australia Pty Ltd under an alliance contract and the staged occupation of the sites by local businesses is now underway.
'Rosshaven Marine is already operating out of the precinct, with the likes of Townsville Ross River Marina, Pacific Marine Group, Harbourside Coldstores and the Australian Institute of Marine Science to complete their relocation in the coming months,' Ms Bligh said.
'Construction of the precinct also clears the way for completion of the Townsville Port Access Road next year.
'The Townsville Port Access Road is a $190 million investment in North Queensland’s future that will address potential capacity issues, secure jobs and enable industry in the region to continue to grow and prosper.
'Its completion will reduce heavy vehicle traffic through residential areas, directly link the Port of Townsville to the Townsville State Development Area, and provide a critical, lasting, freight corridor,' Ms Bligh said.
Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone said Townsville’s recreational boating fraternity was also a big winner from the construction of the Townsville Marine Precinct, with major upgrades planned for recreational boating infrastructure.
'By relocating marine businesses from their old upstream site to the new precinct, we’ve been able to free up a large area of waterfront land upstream, which allows for the creation of new boat ramps there,' Ms Johnstone said.
'At the upstream site, Transport and Main Roads is working with council to build a recreational boating park to meet the increased demand for boat ramps and facilities in Townsville.
Townsville is a boating paradise - MIAA
'The plans include construction of four 4-lane boat ramps, four floating walkways, two pontoons and approximately 360 car-trailer parks, to be located between Fifth and Seventh avenues in South Townsville,' she said.
Member for Thuringowa Craig Wallace said the Bligh Government’s commitment to infrastructure had helped the local economy.
'The precinct’s creation injected more than $80 million into the local economy – a boost for local tradespeople and suppliers at a time when building activity was low,' he said.
Member for Mundingburra Lindy Nelson-Carr said the construction had helped keep people in jobs. 'At the peak of construction, more than 300 workers were on site and a further 300 off site. Indigenous employment was at more than 12 per cent, and not one lost time injury was recorded,' she said.
The Townsville Marine Precinct was jointly funded by the Queensland Government and Port of Townsville Limited.