The Palaszczuk Government will build a police precinct in Townsville on the site of the Cowboys’ former headquarters at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Fulfilling an election commitment to undertake a comprehensive examination of the possible future uses for the ageing complex, the government will now build a multi-purpose police facility on the site of the Willow Sports Complex.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Police Minister Mark Ryan and Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, joined Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll in Townsville today to make the announcement.
“Keeping residents safe and creating jobs are two of my greatest priorities – this project ticks both boxes,” the Premier said.
“This facility will be state-of-the-art. We’re investing in the Queensland Police Service to put more officers in the field and give them the resources they need to do the job.
“The new facility will service Kirwan and surrounding areas and potentially become the base for a number of units that service the wider Townsville Police District.
“We’ll continue to invest in new infrastructure here in Townsville to support growth, create jobs and ensure locals feel safe and supported at home.”
In what will comprise the first stage of the proposed multi-stage redevelopment on the substantial parcel of land, a $30 million police facility will be established on the site.
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said he went to the last election promising the Stadium site would be used for the community’s benefit and the government was delivering on that pledge.
“I knew this site had potential as it’s such a big parcel of land and well located as an emergency services base,” Mr Harper said.
“I will never stop advocating for the people of Townsville to have the best front-line services and infrastructure.
“Our Police and Emergency Services are held in very regard by the community and we see how important they are any time there is a natural disaster.
“As a government and a community, it’s important to support them in having the best facilities we can deliver, because they deserve the best.”
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said it was the Palaszczuk Government that continued to deliver the best resources for emergency services.
“We have a proud record of delivering resources for the Queensland Police Service, including this facility as well as at least 150 officers for the Northern Region,” he said.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said it was exciting to see such an iconic piece of Townsville’s history used for the community’s benefit.
“This major facility will give the police even better resources to help keep the community safe,” he said.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said it was an incredibly exciting start to what will become a major police infrastructure precinct.
“The initial $30 million investment will deliver a cutting-edge police facility that will serve as a base for police who service the people of Kirwan.
“What we are seeing across Queensland is the rollout of a very significant investment in policing that will deliver more than 2000 police personnel.
“And in concert with that investment we are also seeing a big investment in police infrastructure.
“This new facility in Townsville is part of the investments we are making to ensure that the extra personnel we are investing in have the appropriate facilities and infrastructure to support the vital work police do keeping the community safe.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the new facility was part of the biggest investment in policing in Queensland in more than three decades.
“These investments in police are almost unprecedented in Queensland’s history.
“A $600 million-plus investment in extra personnel alongside a $300 million five-year capital works program that’s delivering projects like this exciting new project at the 1300 Smiles Stadium site.
“The Queensland Police Service is world class, and they deserve the infrastructure to match their unwavering commitment to keeping the community safe.
“This $30 million investment in new police infrastructure at the Cowboys old home will provide police servicing the people of Kirwan with a modern, state-of-the-art police facility.”
Demolition at the old stadium site will start soon, with work on the new police facility commencing in 2023.
Queensland Police Union president, Ian Leavers, welcomed the $30 million announcement.
“A purpose built facility to house Kirwan Police Station as well as PoliceLink and a new purpose built location for the Townsville Police Communications Centre is all badly needed.
“I look forward to seeing the new Townsville Policing precinct start taking shape next year.”