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Queensland Government commits extra $40 million for ‘Federal election decider’ Townsville stadium

Queensland Government commits extra $40 million for ‘Federal election decider’ Townsville stadium
June 10, 2016

The Queensland Government has today announced that it will contribute a further $40 million to the planned Townsville stadium and entertainment centre, increasing is contribution to the project from $100 million to $140 million.

With the NRL adding $10 million to the funding, the move is seen as putting pressure on the Federal election campaign where the new central Townsville venue is seen as a key issue for Queensland voters.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has previously pledged $100 million for the new venue in the key marginal electorate.

Brisbane's The Courier Mail has gone as far as suggesting that the the “Election may hang on (the Townsville) stadium”, adding that “the Federal poll on 2nd July will be won and lost in Queensland.”

While a recent study suggested that the new venue would need massive subsidies to operate, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly under pressure to have the Federal Government back the balance of the $250 million project (although earlier estimates suggested it would cost $380 million to build, ed) if it retains power after the Federal election.

Announcing the extra funding for the project, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt "today, we are putting this issue beyond doubt if people vote Labor.

"Essentially, the only missing piece now to ensure this has support no matter who wins the election is if Malcolm Turnbull comes forward with $100 million and matches Bill Shorten's pledge."

Treasurer Pitt said the stadium was vital for the region's economy, particularly after the mass sackings at Federal MP Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel refinery.

The NRL’s $10 million contribution to the project will come in the form of a loan with the North Queensland Cowboys paying 10 years' rent for the venue upfront.

Meanwhile, the NRL will underwrite the commitment by agreeing to fund interest payments on the loan.

NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg backed the project, stating “the Cowboys are the reigning Premiers and they deserve a world class stadium.

“The State and Federal Governments made it clear that they wanted a commitment from the game before they would further invest in the stadium – and we have given that commitment.”

Townsville City Council will also contribute the land on which the venue will be built.

5th June 2016 - LABOR PLEDGES MASSIVE FUNDING FOR TOURISM AND THE GREAT BARRIER REEF: ELECTION FOCUS

21st May 2016 - PLANNED NEW TOWNSVILLE STADIUM NOT FINANCIALLY VIABLE

2nd May 2016 - TOWNSVILLE STADIUM BACKERS DEMAND MORE GOVERNMENT FUNDING

14th March 2016 - TOWNSVILLE NORTH QUEENSLAND EVENTS HUB AIMS TO BOOST BUSINESS


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