Construction has officially kicked off on Port of Townsville’s $193 million Channel Upgrade Project, with the first rocks being laid for a 2.2km protective wall.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the upgrade would provide a significant boost for jobs and the North Queensland economy, allowing cruise and commercial vessels up to 300m long to safely access the port.
“This is the biggest change to the port in almost 30 years and is one that will support jobs in Townsville for decades to come,” Ms Trad said.
“More than 70 port staff, rock supply and rock wall construction employees will be involved in the rock wall construction phase, joining more than 3200 Townsville jobs created by the Queensland Government as part of its $930.7 million budget for the region.”
Ms Trad was among about 60 people attending an event at Port of Townsville to mark the milestone, including Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, and local state and federal members of parliament.
State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said contractor Holcim had put on more workers to meet the contract to supply material for the project from its Roseneath quarry, while HY-TEC also had a contract to supply rock from its quarry at Calcium.
The new rock wall – being built by Hall Contracting – will take about 12 months to complete, extending about 550m seaward, with the northern side about 1.1km in length.
It will form a protective bund around a 62ha reclamation area that will kickstart the Port’s seaward expansion, with construction occurring Monday to Saturday during daylight hours.
The Townsville Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Queensland and Australian governments, and Port of Townsville Limited. The Channel Upgrade forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.