Palm Island’s $10m windfall


A $10million project to complete the second stage of the redevelopment of the Palm Island town centre is set to proceed, thanks to funding announced today as part of the Coalition’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Townsville based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the funding, for the Bwgcolman Retail and Business Precinct, Stage Two, is a massive win for the Palm Island community.

“This is a project that has the potential to transform Palm Island, and generate significant economic growth for locals,” Senator Macdonald said.

“It’s an exciting project that will complement the first stage of the project, which will feature a new health facility, by providing additional retail and commercial premises, breathing new life into this community,” Senator Macdonald said.

Construction on Stage 1 of the project, an initiative of the Palm Island Aboriginal Council, is due to commence shortly, on underutilised waterfront land.

Stage 2, valued at $9,994,432, is expected to bring mainstream products and services to the island, and generate local business opportunities, with an estimated 9 jobs to be created during construction, and around 40 long term jobs once operational.

“I congratulate the Palm Island Council and the Mayor, Cr Alf Lacey, for all their hard work in putting together such a competitive, comprehensive application.”

Townsville LNP candidate Casie Scott said she was delighted with the news.

“I was briefed on the proposal a few weeks ago when I visited with Steve Minnikin, the State Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Multicultural Affairs,” Ms Scott said.

“I subsequently spoke with Senator Macdonald about the project, so I am very pleased the Turnbull Government has made the funding available.

“This is a major step forward for the Palm Island community.”

More than 500 applications were received for this round.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the Building Better Regions Fund was created to help build strong communities for decades to come.

“I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in, or come back to, and projects like this one do exactly that,” Minister Nash said.

Another round of BBRF is expected to be opened before the end of the year.

More information about the Fund is available at www.business.gov.au/bbrf

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