Dec 8, 2009

Flinders Street redevelopment underway

Flinders Street redevelopment underway

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 8 2009

Work has started on the $56 million redevelopment of Townsville’s Flinders Street, a project that has benefited from the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan.

Attending today’s official sod turning, North Queensland Senator Jan McLucas congratulated the Mayor, councillors and Council staff on the work they have done to get this long overdue project off the drawing board and closer than ever before to becoming a reality.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the project is a great example of our economic stimulus money at work.

“It will immediately create employment for up to 150 local construction workers and tradespeople, with much of the building material to be sourced from local suppliers,” said Mr Albanese.

“Once completed, it will further develop the City’s tourism potential, offer new commercial opportunities for local business and over time create up to 750 jobs ongoing jobs.”

Senator McLucas said the centrepiece of the redevelopment will be a new waterfront City Square for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

“In addition, the existing mall will be reopened to traffic with speed calming, parking, wide shaded footpaths and street furniture,” said Senator McLucas.

The project is a partnership between the Council ($21.5 million), the Queensland Government ($18.9 million) and the Federal Government ($16.2 million).

Mr Albanese said the revitalisation of Townsville’s CBD is just one of more than 3,300 projects being funded from the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program.

“Part of the Economic Stimulus Plan, this $1 billion program has been putting thousands of Australians to work building and modernising the facilities that make our communities better places to live,” said Mr Albanese.

“It is the single largest Federal investment in the nation’s local community infrastructure.”

All up, the Economic Stimulus Plan will inject almost $250 million into the Townsville economy, helping to shield the community from the worst of the global recession and keep the local unemployment rate down.