North Queenslanders raising the roof at new stadium

The North Queensland Stadium has hit another major construction milestone with the first of the new venue’s 36 unique roof trusses being carefully lifted into place.

When complete, the roof, with its design inspired by the pandanus plant, will ensure the stadium becomes recognisable around the world.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspected construction progress today with Federal Member for Herbert Philip Thompson, Member for Townsville Scott Stewart, Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper as well as Mayor Jenny Hill.

The Premier said the complex design of the stadium’s roof had not been attempted before on such a scale.

“The horseshoe-shaped roof will cover about 75 per cent of the stadium’s 25,000 seats, all of which offer a fantastic experience for fans,” she said.

“Construction is on budget and on track for the stadium to open in time for the 2020 NRL season opener, which is a credit to the contractor and to the local workforce.

“It’s also been great to learn in the last week that Sir Elton John will play here as part of celebrations ahead of next year’s opening match.”

The Premier said the North Queensland Stadium would be a proud sport and entertainment centrepiece for the city.

“This is a stadium being built by locals creating much needed jobs in the region,” she said.

“More than 91 per cent workers inducted to the site live in North Queensland and more than 97 per cent of construction hours have been completed by local sub-contractors.

“Local businesses have been awarded over $139 million in trade packages, and there have been 461 local businesses engaged in the extended supply chain.”

The Premier also announced that a local firm would deliver the Pitch Works package which includes one of the most important elements of the new stadium – the Cowboys’ home turf.

“Today I can announce that Townsville’s Mendi Group, which employs 70 locals, been awarded the Pitch Works trade package for the stadium,” she said.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge also welcomed the milestone.

“With $100 million of federal funding the Morrison Government is proud to be helping to deliver this world-class stadium which will be attended by Townsville families for generations to come,” Mr Tudge said.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the North Queensland Stadium had a 97 per cent local workforce building the new home of the North Queensland Cowboys.

“From concrete pumping and pitch construction to landscaping this stadium is being built by a local workforce of Cowboys fans,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The state of the art lay and play field will make every Cowboys game unmissable, and ensure an Elton John concert the week before won’t affect play.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said Mendi Group was already working to deliver earthworks and roadworks on site.

“The pitch works include irrigation and subsoil drainage systems and will enable this local company to expand its local workforce as well as its expertise,” he said.

“This is great news for local workers, and great news for a company that has been servicing the local community for over 50 years.

“It’s also a great chapter in the stadium’s construction story, again showing that this truly is our stadium.”

Mendi Group Director Jeff Doyle said the stadium had been a boon for his business, which had been working on site since 2017.

“Since we began on-site, we have been able to employ an additional 23 staff, including 6 apprentices and trainees,” he said.

“This ongoing work has provided great security of employment for our local workforce who are now upskilling in new areas, and we have also been able to engage our local supply chain by offering components of our work to other local subcontractors and suppliers.”

Other major works being conducted on-site include upper seating bowl platforms in the eastern stand, as well as services cabling, external façade work and glazing for windows and doors in the eastern stand.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said he couldn't wait until the stadium opens.

“This is the community’s stadium and every single person who is helping build it should be very proud,” he said.

“I know I can’t wait to catch a game of footy and of course rock out to Rocketman Elton John when he performs here.”

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the Australian Government was also providing $15 million towards a neighbouring innovation and training centre, in addition to contributing $100 million towards the stadium.

“These investments will ensure elite athletes and researchers can access high-performance facilities right here in Townsville,” Mr Thompson said.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the North Queensland Stadium and the Townsville Waterfront Promenade were shining examples of what can be delivered for the community when different levels of government work together.

“The North Queensland Stadium is one the key major projects helping to boost the city’s economy,” Cr Hill said.

“The Stadium is an important project to revitalise our inner city and I’m thrilled to watch it continue to take shape.”

North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Queensland Government, Australian Government and Townsville City Council, and is supported by both the National Rugby League and the North Queensland Cowboys.

The stadium forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.