Cairns Convention Centre expansion reaches next stage

A managing contractor has been appointed for the multi-million-dollar project.

Cairns Convention Centre is progressing on its $176 million expansion, appointing Lendlease as the managing contractor for the project.

Announcing the appointment on Thursday, 5 December, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Lendlease put forward a strong case to support local employment.

“We’re investing $176 million for the Cairns Convention Centre upgrade that will support around 570 full time jobs,” she said.

“This expansion is not only creating jobs now but will help the city attract new conferences and events of even greater sizes and complexity which will ensure Cairns has a competitive advantage and pride of place on the global conventions calendar, creating even more jobs in the future.”

Cairns Convention Centre expansion
(L to R): Member for Cook Cynthia Lui, Member for Barron River Craig Crawford, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Member for Cairns Michael Healy

The first phase of the project will commence soon and will include lift upgrades.

The centre will then close from May to October 2020 to allow for roof replacement, air-conditioning and amenities upgrades and general refurbishment work.

The Cairns Convention Centre expansion will continue until early 2022 when the entire project is scheduled to be completed.

The government is now calling on local tradespeople to join the project.

“Lendlease has a team based in Cairns with a very strong record of delivering major government projects and our deal with them contractually requires them to engage local tradies on the opportunities to tender for convention centre works packages,” said Member for Cairns Michael Healy.

“While the expansion alone will support up to 570 jobs over the lifetime of the project, the flow on benefits will be far reaching with additional direct and indirect employment opportunities long into the future through hospitality, logistics, security and maintenance.

“This $176 million investment will also attract some 20,000 additional visitors to the Tropical North, injecting up to another $50 million into the local economy annually.”

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