Two eight-to-twelve-metre tall 'solar trees' at the North Queensland Stadium precinct are set to begin construction. The project will create 120 direct and indirect jobs in the area.
The solar trees will be installed along Ross Creek between the Townsville city centre and the North Queensland Stadium. The $8 million beautification project aims to deliver unique tourism infrastructure to the region, providing an 'interactive water experience' to visitors.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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 State Government has invested $6.5 million to the project, with Townsville's City Council injecting $1.5 million. The works are expected to take 9 months to execute, with construction commencing in July.
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