Veterans and their families in north Queensland are a step closer to easier access to services and support with the successful contractor to build the next stage of the Oasis Townsville announced today.
Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester and Queensland Minister for Communities and Minister for Disabilities Services and Seniors, the Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP, announced Townsville-based company Woollam Constructions would lead the major building works for the project.
“This is an important step forward in improving the support and services for veterans and their families in Townsville,” Mr Chester said.
“Once completed, The Oasis Townsville will provide a one-stop shop for veterans and their families to access assistance from government, health services, ex-service organisations (ESOs) and community groups.
“The Oasis Townsville will significantly expand and enhance the existing range of services it already offers, ensuring that we are putting veterans and their families first.”
The major building works for the project include a partial demolition of the existing building, refurbishment of the remaining half of the building, construction of an indoor/outdoor café, five smaller buildings and other external works.
“The construction of The Oasis Townsville is a truly local project — using local construction companies and local suppliers, supporting approximately 24 full-time equivalent jobs and boosting the local economy,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Since I was first approached by The Oasis Townsville a number of years ago, I have been working with them to achieve our vision for the site and to provide a truly unique, fit-for-purpose facility to benefit our local community, veterans and their families.
“I have been determined to deliver this project for locals, and I am thankful to the Federal Government for their support and funding contribution to see it become a reality.
“With around 15,000 ex-defence force personnel living in our city and an estimated 500 transitioning into the community each year, I know how important this project is for Townsville and our local defence community.”
Federal Member for Herbert Mr Phillip Thompson OAM MP said the announcement was an important milestone for a long-awaited project.
“This facility and the services that will come with it are going to benefit not only veterans, but current serving defence members,” Mr Thompson said.
“Townsville is the largest garrison city in the country and deserves a place like this where the defence community can come together and seek the support they need without having to find their way through a maze of services.
“I look forward to construction beginning — but The Oasis will be so much more than just a building and I can’t wait to see the positive work that will go on here.”
Mr Chester said the Federal Government committed $5 million in funding for this project and thanked the Queensland Government for its contribution of $4.3 million of funding through the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS).
“We are all committed to seeing this wellbeing centre open and provide services to veterans and their families in the Townsville community by the end of 2020,” Mr Chester said.
Construction of The Oasis Townsville main works is due to be completed during October 2020, with the service expected to begin operating later that month.
The Oasis Townsville is one of six Veteran Wellbeing Centres which will be operated in partnership with ESOs and state and territory governments, announced by the Federal Government as part of a $30 million commitment.