News from Mick

Cairns Convention Centre project to deliver more qualified workers and tradies

June 26, 2021

Workers building the bigger, better Cairns Convention Centre have clocked up more than 50,000 on-the-job training hours.

Minister for Public Works Mick de Brenni said the $176 million refurbishment and expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre has advanced the skills of 338 workers to date.

“The upgrade of the Cairns Convention Centre isn’t just delivering a world-class tourism project – it is also delivering training that will leave a lasting legacy of more qualified workers in the Far North,” said Mr de Brenni.

“The biggest winners from these training hours on the Cairns Convention Centre construction site are the 49 apprentices who now have the experience of working on a multi-million-dollar infrastructure project.

“What this means is the Cairns community will have more qualified tradies such as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and glaziers to call on. 

“This investment in training has enabled tradies, apprentices and all of the businesses in the supply chain to hone skills that will stay in the Far North and continue to pay dividends for years to come.”

Apprentice mechanical plumber Ricky Wardle scored his new job as an apprentice plumber through the JT Academy.

Ricky said he has been busy installing pipe, welding, cutting lagging and valve trains.

“This training is really important for my apprenticeship progression,” he said.

“It has given me greater confidence, improved my ability to work as a team member and enabled me to learn a range of new skills.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said construction of the Cairns Convention Centre is primarily being progressed by local business and workers.

“The refurbishment works were completed in early May and the Centre successfully held their first convention 12-14 May 2021,” he said

“As at 11 June 2021, 601 local workers have worked on the project, and 53 local businesses have benefited through the extended supply chain.

“The construction works on the 10,500 square metre expansion are now in full swing.

“The expansion works include a large undercover, tropically planted drop-off and entry forecourt, an expanded main entry lobby, a 410-seat plenary lecture space, three 120-seat meeting rooms and new exhibition space for up to 30 display booths.”