The $176 million Cairns Convention Centre expansion in Queensland is set to deliver hundreds of local jobs as the project marks a new major milestone with the appointment of Lendlease Building Pty Limited as managing contractor.
“We’re investing $176 million for the Cairns Convention Centre upgrade that will support around 570 full time jobs.
“This expansion is not only creating jobs now but will help the city attract new conferences and events of even greater sizes and complexity which will ensure Cairns has a competitive advantage and pride of place on the global convention calendar, creating even more jobs in the future,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Lendlease was appointed as managing contractor after putting forward a strong case to leverage the company’s economic value through the utilisation of quality local suppliers and workers.
“Lendlease has a team based in Cairns with a very strong record of delivering major government projects and our deal with them contractually requires them to engage local tradies on the opportunities to tender for convention centre works packages.
“I’d urge local tradies to make the most of this significant opportunity because ticking the right boxes when tendering for this project will help when tendering for other government work,” Member for Cairns Michael Healy said.
Artist impression of the Cairns Convention Centre expansion facade (source: Queensland Government)
According to Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni, the State Government is making it easier for local businesses to tender for government work.
“As part of delivering local benefits, they [Lendlease] were also required to show and commit to how local mum and dad businesses and tradies will be engaged in work packages.
“Lendlease will be responsible for ensuring the objectives of the Queensland Government’s Buy Queensland policy are fully realised,” Mr de Brenni said.
More than $100 million from the Queensland Government’s Best Practice Principles for government projects will be put forward for the delivery of the convention centre expansion.
Mr de Brenni added: “Lendlease Building Pty Limited will also evaluate trade package tenderers on workplace health and safety, the employment of apprentices and trainees, and their track record of paying employees fairly.
“Workers on major Queensland Government projects deserve the same pay, job security and safety conditions, no matter where they are working in our State.”
The first stage and early works on the expansion project will commence soon. The convention centre will remain open for operations until May 2020.
From May to October next year, a planned closure will allow works for roof replacement, air-conditioning and amenities upgrades as well as general refurbishment work to be done.
“Our aim is to ensure the expansion works cause as little disruption to centre operations as possible and early in 2022, the expanded Cairns Convention Centre will officially re-open bigger and better than ever,” Mr de Brenni said.
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