Construction of two eight-to-12-metre tall ‘solar trees’ at the North Queensland Stadium precinct is expected to create 120 direct and indirect jobs.
The $8 million beautification project will see the solar trees installed along Ross Creek between North Queensland Stadium and Townsville city centre, including a including a Rain Tree that will provide an interactive water experience. It aims to deliver unique tourism infrastructure for the region.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the new stadium is a game-changer and a job-creator for North Queensland.
State Development, Tourism and Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the investment aligns with the Townsville North Queensland Destination Tourism Plan’s priorities.
“We know how important tourism is to North Queensland, especially as we emerge from the impacts of COVID-19,” she said.
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“The Queensland Government has a plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs and that means building new infrastructure, strengthening our existing industries and supporting growth industries.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the solar trees would provide many benefits.
“The North Queensland Stadium is the heart of Townsville, and this new attraction will enliven the area for tourists and locals alike.
“Growing jobs in the region means growing our tourist offerings, and this project ticks both boxes.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said tourism infrastructure projects like the Solar Tree would have a huge impact on the local economy and activate the CBD.
“Initial estimates have shown that this project could inject $8 million into our local economy and support more than 110 direct and indirect jobs- which is a huge boost to our construction industry on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hill said.
“This is a completely unique attraction that is perfect for our region thanks to using solar power to run. It will encourage those visiting the Stadium to make the walk to the CBD just to experience such a beautiful visual show.
“Central Park is a crucial link from the Stadium Precinct to the CBD and it’s projects like this that will provide a flow-on benefit our local restaurants, accommodation and retailers as people come to the city.”
The Queensland Government has committed $6.5 million to the project, with Townsville City Council contributing $1.5 million. The project is expected to take nine months to complete with construction starting in July.