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Managing Contractor appointed for North Queensland Stadium

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Queensland State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill announced this week that Watpac have been appointed Managing Contractor (MC) to build the A$250m North Queensland Stadium.


Watpac – the national construction and civil and mining group – has outlined a plan for more than 80 per cent of hours spent building the stadium to be by locals and at least 80 per cent of the value of the project to be spent on local subcontractors and suppliers.


It is expected that more than 2,000 people from the Townsville region will be involved in contracts related to the build of the 25,000-seat stadium. Watpac will be targeting 6.6 per cent of the construction workforce to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


The Prime Minister (PM), who pledged A$100m towards the stadium as part of an Australian first City Deal, said he was committed to the stadium creating opportunities for the local community.


PM Turnbull said:

This stadium will be built by the people of Townsville. It will increase investment in the region which will give local businesses the opportunity to expand and employ more residents. North Queensland Stadium is the centrepiece of Australia’s first City Deal, right here in Townsville. Right across the board, every lever of the Commonwealth, State Government and the Townsville City Council is working together to create jobs and a more liveable city that drives the North Queensland economy.


Queensland Minister for State Development Anthony Lynham said the stadium was going to be a game changer for the North Queensland economy:

Local jobs, local business opportunities and a strong local presence was the deal maker. Watpac’s winning tender met the contract requirements for maximising local job and training opportunities, including for Indigenous workers, as well as having a long established Townsville presence and outstanding stadia construction experience.


Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill welcomed the announcement, saying forums would be run by Watpac to help local sub-contractors and suppliers compete for stadium contracts:

I understand they’ll be maximising opportunities for local businesses to compete for work on the stadium, including splitting trade packages into multiple smaller contracts to ensure local businesses have the opportunity to tender on the project. The local jobs focus is heartily welcomed.


Watpac will use the Queensland Government’s ICN Gateway at: www.northqueenslandstadium.icn.org.au as a source for tender registrations. Currently, 443 companies have registered their interest for work packages through the ICN Gateway, with 182 or 41 per cent, based in North Queensland.


The North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Australian Government, Queensland Government and Townsville City Council and is supported by both the National Rugby League (NRL) and the North Queensland Cowboys. The North Queensland Stadium forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in 2016.


Watpac will deliver the two-stage design and construct contract, providing vital job and training opportunities for the Townsville region.
Watpac Construction Northern Region Manager, Bryan Glancy, said the contract announcement was an exciting milestone for the Group’s Townsville team and the North Queensland community:

Watpac has been a part of the Townsville community for nearly 20 years and we’re delighted to be working with the Queensland Government to deliver this significant piece of sporting infrastructure. Our team has extensive sporting infrastructure experience having delivered some of Queensland’s most iconic grounds including the Gabba, and Suncorp and Metricon stadiums, so it’s exciting to be building this first-class facility for the people of North Queensland and their favourite footy team – the North Queensland Cowboys.



With the project expected to engage with more than 2,000 people across the design and construction phases, Glancy said Watpac was looking forward to working with local businesses to deliver the 25,000-seat stadium:

This project will draw on our expertise while bringing together local businesses to offer various opportunities for North Queensland residents. We’ve a strong record when it comes to engaging with local trades and suppliers as a priority for our projects and we will look to continue this over the course of the stadium’s construction.



Having delivered some of the region’s leading projects, including the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine and Translational Research Facility at James Cook University, the Riverway Arts Centre and Lagoons and Riverway Stadium (Tony Ireland Stadium), and a number of facilities at Lavarack Barracks, Watpac will draw on its local relationships to create opportunities for trade tenderers.


Glancy added:

We will be working with interested parties early on to create a pathway for local industry participation. Our priority is to deliver an iconic sporting stadium for the North Queensland community and while doing so provide indigenous employment opportunities, business participation and job upskilling where possible for the region.
Stage one’s design and early works programme will commence in coming weeks, with stage two to commence in 2018. The project is expected to have a sustained peak workforce of nearly 400 people during construction.

Watch the concept designs video for the new A$250m North Queensland Stadium on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/_eeNRQiY0DE


Images of North Queensland Stadium, courtesy: Townsville City Council


The Project

The State Development department is leading the delivery of the North Queensland Stadium Project, which is expected to support up to 750 jobs throughout the design and construction stages.


With a total project budget of A$250m, a centrally-located 25,000-seat best-practice regional stadium will be built in Townsville, in time for the start of the 2020 NRL season.


The stadium project will provide a catalyst for urban regeneration in Townville, attract further investment into the region and support jobs growth.



North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Queensland Government ($140m), Australian Government ($100m) and Townsville City Council (land and enabling infrastructure) and is supported by the National Rugby League ($10m).


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



The North Queensland Stadium site will be located within the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area adjacent to the Townsville Central Business District, between Ross Creek and Saunders Street.


The best-practice regional stadium will include state-of-the-art corporate facilities, permanent stands, permanent concessions and modern amenities throughout.


Overall planning of the site will also make allowance for the potential integration of an entertainment centre at a future date.


Proximity to CBD
to CBD
Proximity to CBD
Proximity to CBD
Proximity to CBD
Proximity to CBD
<1km 25,000 seating with potential to expand to 30,000 capacity in the future 80% Well serviced by CBD public transport routes
  • State-of-the-art corporate facilities including a Field Club
  • Permanent stands including premium seating
  • Permanent food and drink concessions and amenities throughout


Next Steps

The stadium is to be completed in time for the start of the 2020 NRL season. The next steps include:


Item Timeframe
Request for tenders issued to shortlisted principal consultants, audit programmers and quantity surveyors Oct 2016
Appointment of a Principal Consultant, Audit Programmer and Quantity Surveyor 19 Dec 2016
Expressions of Interest for a Managing Contractor 14 Dec 2016 – 18 Jan 2017
Managing Contractor EOI evaluation period February 2017
Request for tenders issued to shortlisted managing contractors February 2017
Appointment of a Managing Contractor April 2017
Letting of work packages commences Mid – late 2017
Commencement of early works on site Mid – late 2017
Commencement of the stadium build Early 2018
Stadium completion Early 2020

Project Team

Townsville architects 9Point9 are part of a Cox Architecture-led team chosen to deliver a Pandanus tree-inspired design for the $250m North Queensland Stadium.


Acting Premier Curtis Pitt unveiled the winning design concept back in December, with the winning design team and Federal Cities Minister Angus Taylor and Townsville City Council Mayor Jenny Hill.


Pitt said:

The Pandanus-inspired roof creates a suitably iconic shape for North Queensland but is also practical, covering 80 percent of the stadium’s 25,000 seats and designed to resist cyclonic wind conditions. Cox Architecture’s genuine local input and partnership is in line with one of the Palaszczuk Government’s key objectives for this project – local jobs, business and training opportunities.


Cox’s design team incorporates a number of specialist consultancies with Townsville offices, including:

  • 9point9 Architects
  • Ashburner Francis (mechanical and electrical)
  • Arup (structural, civil, traffic and transport, Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) specialists, acoustics)
  • Parker Hydraulics
  • RPS (landscaping and surveying)
  • Douglas Partners (geotechnical)
  • Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University (specialist wind engineering)

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