A 544-strong local workforce is busy putting the finishing touches on the multi-million-dollar refurbishment of the Cairns Convention Centre.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commended workers for keeping construction moving during COVID-19 and cyclonic conditions.
“Rain, hail or shine, these workers have been on the job every day to make sure this project continues to progress,” she said.
“Today workers are putting the finishing touches on the refurbishment of the Cairns Convention Centre and I couldn’t be more proud.
“We’re investing in major infrastructure projects to support local jobs and rebuild our economy.
“Not only has this project supported hundreds of local jobs it also means more dollars for the local tourism industry – being able to host more events sooner here in Cairns.
“The economy here in Far North Queensland has taken a real hit during COVID-19.
“Projects like this are vital to safeguarding jobs and ensuring we build back better in Cairns.”
Minister for Public Works Mick de Brenni said the majority of workers on the project were based in Far North Queensland.
“Work began almost 250 days ago and I’m pleased that the Cairns Convention Centre is on track to host its first event in mid-May,” said Mr de Brenni.
“One the primary reasons that the centre will be able to open to visitors, supporting the tourism industry from May this year, is due to the 60 local businesses who have helped to keep the construction on track.
“And these 60 local businesses have engaged a further 72 Cairns businesses through the extended supply chain, further supporting the project’s economic contribution across the Far North Queensland economy.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said expansion works were also continuing and were on-track to be complete by mid-2022.
Mr Healy said works to be completed as part of the 10,500 square metre expansion included a large undercover forecourt, a larger main entry, a 410-seat lecture space, three 120-seat meeting rooms as well as a 500-seat rooftop banquet space with views over Trinity Inlet.
“Having a government that understands the importance of the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions market and is investing in our infrastructure is exactly what Cairns needs,” he said.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that is expanding this essential infrastructure which will see ongoing investment in our region.
“I want to see workers in jobs and more dollars being pumped back into our economy.
“The refurbishment and expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre gives us the best of both worlds – a nice sugar hit during construction and ongoing revenue for tourism operators as we secure more events into the future.
“I look forward to seeing the ongoing works come to life.”
InterGLAZE’s Director Jye Bin Awel said their Cairns based team of 11 employees, including four new staff and one new apprentice have had the opportunity to work on the project throughout construction at some stage.
“We have been engaged to install the internal metalworks package including the glass balustrades, handrails and various other glazing projects,” Mr Bin Awel said.
“This project has presented an exciting opportunity for local specialised glaziers at InterGLAZE to demonstrate their ability to work with Tier one Builders.”