Palmer Street works to aid business recovery

Date published: 21 July 2020

Townsville City Council hopes an almost $1 million redevelopment of Palmer Street will encourage more restaurants and cafes to open and help existing businesses recover from COVID-19.

Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chairperson Mark Molachino said the widening of the footpath between Plume and Morehead streets would give restaurants more room to cater to customers.

The redevelopment also included making Palmer Street one way between Plume and Morehead streets, as well as the installation of street furniture and landscaping.

“Palmer Street is one of Townsville’s great dining and entertainment precincts, attracting both locals and visitors,” Cr Molachino said.

“Currently, most of the entertainment and dining options in the street are contained between Saunders and Plume streets.

“We are hoping to attract people to the precinct between Plume and Moorhead streets with more outdoor dining options.”

Cr Molachino said the project was an important investment in the much-loved street.

“Council wants this area to thrive, that’s why we’ve invested close to $1 million to improve the amenity in the area,” Cr Molachino said.

“There is no doubt that the dining and entertainment sector has taken a hit because of the coronavirus global pandemic.

“We think this redevelopment will give local businesses an opportunity to enhance their alfresco dining options as we come out of pandemic restrictions.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart welcomed the completion of the project and said that Townsville City Council had benefited from close to $70 million of infrastructure investment across the three rounds of Works for Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government has helped deliver 1582 jobs through Works for Queensland – the Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $69.6 million in 96 projects,” Mr Stewart said.

“By the end of the 2019-21 program, Council estimates a further 175 jobs will have been created or supported.

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to be contributing to this outstanding result for the Townsville community and the Council has done a fantastic job in delivering these projects.”

Local councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said she expected restaurant owners to welcome the extra space.

“We’d love to see people embrace the area when normal business resumes as we’re hoping this will encourage property owners to develop vacant lots,” Cr Greaney said.

“We consulted the public and this section of the street is now one way with traffic flowing towards the Port of Townsville.

“We’ve upgraded the footpath near the Maritime Museum of Townsville to give pedestrians a better link from the Port to the CBD.

“I want to thank the Port of Townsville for also investing in this precinct with their delivery of path and lighting upgrades and to better link Palmer Street with cruise and ferry services.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Queensland Government and I’d like the thank them for their support.”

In addition to being part of the Works for Queensland program since 2016, Townsville City Council also received more than $13.5 million through the COVID Works for Queensland program, estimated to create or support more than 80 jobs.

“The pandemic has hit economies across the world - Queensland is not immune, nor is Townsville,” Mr Stewart said.

“The jobs created through the Works for Queensland program and the COVID Works for Queensland program are now part of the Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan.”