The Palaszczuk Government today confirmed that jobs for Far North Queenslanders will play a major role in the appointment of a managing contractor for the Cairns Convention Centre expansion.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni released details of the tender last week, with local construction companies being given the opportunity to pitch to successfully deliver the $176 million project.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Palaszczuk Government was looking to appoint a locally based managing contractor who would employ local tradies.
“The Cairns Convention Centre expansion will support hundreds of jobs, and that’s not even counting the local businesses who will be supported in the extended supply chain,” Mr Healy said.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Queensland approach shows we’re serious about ensuring this significant investment delivers real value for the Tropical North.”
The successful tenderer for the Cairns Convention Centre refurbishment will have to show how they will deliver benefits to Far North Queensland, including how they propose to engage with a local workforce.
Mr de Brenni said that as part of delivering local benefits, the managing contractor would be required to show how local mum and dad businesses and tradies will engage in work packages.”
“Queenslanders expect the same pay, job security and safety conditions, no matter where they are working in our State without having to put up with unethical practices such as sham contracting,” he said.
“The managing contractor for the Cairns Convention Centre will be working according to our Best Practise Principles to ensure the benefits of this project are felt throughout the community.
“The managing contractor will also be evaluated on workplace and health and safety, the employment of apprentices and trainees and their track record of paying employees fairly.”
Mr de Brenni said the Queensland Government’s next $176 million investment in the facility would attract some 20,000 additional visitors to the Tropical North, injecting up to $50 million into the local economy annually.
“This investment gives Cairns a competitive advantage to cater for multiple functions, helping the city to attract new conferences and events of even greater sizes and complexity,” he said.
Mr Healy said that the first phase of convention centre works will be lift upgrades, which will take place progressively from November so that the facility can remain open and operational until May 2020.
“There is a planned closure period of five months so that roof replacement, air-conditioning upgrades, amenities upgrades and general refurbishment work can take place. The existing centre will reopen at the end of this period.
“Our aim is to ensure the expansion works cause as little disruption to centre operations as possible but early in 2022, the Cairns Convention Centre will officially re-open bigger and better than ever.
Records show the last major upgrade at Cairns Convention Centre was in 2005, when $10 million was invested by the then-Beattie Government.