Townsville Stadium project could create better skilled construction industry
THE Townsville Stadium project has the potential to not only ease the city’s employment woes but create a more skilled construction industry capable of taking on larger and more complex projects.
A. Gabrielli Constructions managing director Adrian Gabrielli said smaller, local companies needed to be given the opportunity to tackle stadium work to allow them to grow.
“The real benefit of this whole project will be the residual talent that we build and create and hold in the city and that’s probably the biggest benefit we are going to get,” he said. “We’re not just building a stadium, the stadium is the point of the triangle.
“The real asset will be how we procure, manage and deliver it to retain those skills and opportunities and then build on that movement through the community to create confidence and continue the growth of the city.”
Mr Gabrielli said there needed to be forward planning to ensure local companies had the time to secure resources to complete the work.
“It’s difficult to source resources when you don’t already have the work,” he said.
“We need to plan the future workload and timing of the projects.”
The $250 million stadium project is expected to generate about 750 jobs during the design and construction stages.
It’s hoped the stadium will be finished in time for the NRL 2020 season.
James Cook University Associate Professor in economics Riccardo Welters said skilled people were leaving Townsville due to a lack of work.
“If we can get local people involved in building the stadium, then we are building up the local workforce and if we manage that, then obviously those firms can apply for bigger projects and have a better chance of competing with Brisbane companies,” he said.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the project would build on the capability of Townsville’s workforce.
“The next generation of construction workers to come through will have the knowledge and experience to build large infrastructure,” he said.
Townsville Deputy Mayor Les Walker said he hoped local construction firms would be given work which would make them better equipped for larger future projects such as solar farms, the Ville renovation and new private hospital.
“We need to have a skilled workforce, not just now but when more projects come on the line,” he said.
“We don’t want a skills shortage in 12 months when all the projects are happening.
“Due to the length of time this project will take, I’d like to see as many apprentices as possible engaged in this.”