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Construction is underway on the $250 million North Queensland Stadium with today’s turning of the first sod.

Three levels of government were on site for the official start to building works.

The stadium will be built by the people of Townsville. Already five trade packages have been awarded to local companies – temporary fencing, shade cloth provision, project surveying, dilapidation surveying and demolition.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said getting the project to this stage was also a clear demonstration of all the parties’ commitment to Townsville. 

“Breaking ground is an exciting time for the Townsville community as it will unlock hundreds of jobs and flow on benefits to the region during construction and beyond,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“The Managing Contractor Watpac has worked hard to reach this significant milestone to ensure the project remains on track to deliver the Stadium on time for the 2020 NRL season.

“Best of all, today we are seeing a further boost to local jobs with the award of the civil earthworks and roadworks trade package being award to local Townsville company Mendi Constructions.

“One of my government’s key objectives has been to ensure this project delivers real benefits to local business and creates local jobs.

“Supporting our objective is Watpac’s plan to ensure at least 80 per cent of the hours spent building the stadium will be done by locals, and at least 80 per cent of the projects' value being spent on local subcontractors and suppliers.

“With the civil earthworks and roadworks trade package being the biggest of the early works trade packages, it is great to see this work going to a local Townsville owned and operated business.”

Federal Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor said he was delighted to be in Townsville encouraging more investment through the City Deal.

“Momentum is building around the job opportunities at the stadium. Today I’m exploring with Townsville leaders how we can get more local projects off the ground,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.

“Fundamentally, the City Deal is a commitment to deliver for Townsville – more investment in local infrastructure, more contracts for local businesses and more jobs for local workers.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the turning of the first sod for the new stadium was a landmark moment for the city and the future of Townsville.

"The start of construction of the Stadium has lifted confidence and has begun to provide the economic stimulus we need to drive new jobs and investment opportunities for Townsville,” Cr Hill said.

“The stadium will continue to provide local employment during the construction.”

The 25,000 seat best-practice regional stadium will include state-of-the-art corporate facilities, permanent stands, permanent concessions and modern amenities.

The North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Queensland Government ($140 million), the Australian Government ($100 million), and Townsville City Council is supported by both the National Rugby League and the North Queensland Cowboys ($10 million).

The North Queensland Stadium forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in 2016.

For more information on the North Queensland Stadium, visit