Priority works gather pace on entertainment centre

Date published: 7 March 2016

A $5 million package of priority works is underway on Townsville’s Entertainment and Convention Centre (TECC) to ensure the city’s principal venue continues to stage major events.

The Townsville City Council is managing the TECC Maintenance Project which is being fully funded by the Australian Government through the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Community Development Grants Program.

Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones, Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill, and Brad Morgan from the Colonial Leisure Group, the council’s joint venture partner in the centre, launched the works today.

Mr Jones said the upgrade of the Entertainment and Convention Centre would ensure Townsville received international exposure and reaped the economic benefits that came with it.

“Townsville is being promoted to national sporting teams as an ideal destination for pre-training for the Commonwealth Games. If successful, the drive is expected to generate significant economic and social benefits for the greater Townsville region,” Mr Jones said.

“The completed project is anticipated to sustain the region’s capacity to stage major entertainment events, business and trade conventions and attract further clients by providing a facility that exceeds current industry practices and operational standards.

“Installation of new air-conditioning chillers for the Centre started today as part of 10 packages of works which includes replacement works and structural and amenity upgrades.

“The completed project will ensure the Entertainment and Convention Centre can function viably as a basketball venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Cr Hill said the project was essential to keep the 23 year-old facility functional for the community until a new facility was developed.

“These works are critical as a medium term measure to ensure the centre continues to perform as the city’s premier indoor entertainment venue, particularly for the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Cr Hill said.

“Detailed reports have shown that the centre is dated, in declining overall condition and in urgent need of these works to continue to operate.

“With the generous support of the Australian Government these works on the centre’s basic operating systems will extend its life while we lobby for a new facility in the CBD.”

The TECC Maintenance Project includes a major overhaul of the centre’s air-conditioning systems, with the replacement of three air cooled water chillers that will generate 1,731 kWr of cooling capacity for the facility and deliver reduced operational costs.

Work will also be carried out on the centre’s roofing and drainage, internal plumbing, fire and protection, emergency and exit lighting systems, flooring, the arena lighting, electrical mains, IT systems and PA system.

Already the combined effort of the project partners has delivered $900,000 in upgrade works since September 2015 without disruption to the centre.

Under the Australian Government’s funding agreement, the project’s completion is required by February 2017.

The TECC Maintenance Project follows work the council funded in October to install a new basketball floor in the centre, to support the Crocodiles’ in the NBL and the city’s capacity to stage events before and during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Council and Colonial Leisure Group are partners on the Townsville Breakwater Island Entertainment Centre Joint Venture which owns and operates the TECC.