Paynters to lead $80m Reef HQ revamp
The contract between Paynters and GBRMPA will cover all works under the Reef HQ 20-year Master Plan, funded by the Australian Government as part of the Townsville City Deal.
“This is a major milestone in the redevelopment Reef HQ – a project that will create more than 300 jobs, drive economic growth in and play a role in the revitalisation of the city as a world-class tourism attraction and education centre,” Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher said.
“The Morrison Government has committed $80.1 million in funding for this important initiative, including $40 million as part of the Townsville City Deal, which is helping to drive investment in critical community infrastructure projects that will help position the city as a vibrant and liveable destination for years to come.”
Paynters North Queensland manager Michael Koen said the project presented a number of flow-on opportunities for the Townsville region during the construction phase.
“This includes jobs for apprentices, school-based trainees, and local subcontractors, as well as Indigenous participation in jobs and other opportunities through the supply chain servicing the project” Mr Koen said.
Reef HQ Aquarium closed to the public in February this year to prepare the facility for the works. It is expected to reopen at the end of 2023.
The new-look Reef HQ will include revitalised exhibits with educational activities, hands-on experiences, onsite diving programs, scientific demonstrations and the use of interactive technology.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson described Reef HQ as one of Townsville’s most recognisable tourist attractions, and said the refurbishment project would see it become a national centre of excellence for coral reef education.
“We were already investing in significant repair works to guarantee the facility’s life for decades to come, so to be able to go this extra step, do it once, and do it properly, is great for the community, visitors and the staff,” he said.
“Our city needs jobs and that’s exactly what this project delivers, while also revitalising and rejuvenating an area of the CBD in need of a bit of a facelift.”
Below: An artist’s impression of the new-look Reef HQ after the $80.1 million refurbishment.
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