Townsville 2004 - present
2004 - 2009
In 2005, Townsville celebrated VP60, a Council event that commemorated our veterans on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Townsville Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre was officially opened in September. The Cowboys reached their first National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final in club history.
2006 was when the Riverway Arts Centre, Lagoon and Eco-Active Centre development was completed. The former army camping ground now includes two swimming lagoons, a theatre and gallery, public art, and all-abilities playground and walkways. To celebrate, the venue hosted the Riverway Festival on 8 July 2006, and welcomed 30,000 members of the public in the first weekend.
During 2006, the Jezzine Barracks community trust was created to supervise the redevelopment of the Jezzine Barracks precinct. The then Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard visited Townsville on 1 August and formalised the trust.
In 2007, the Riverway Stadium (Tony Ireland Stadium) was completed and successfully hosted an interstate T20 match between Queensland and Victoria, which was attended by over 10,000 spectators.
On 4 December 2007, Sir Elton John played in front of 21,500 fans at Dairy Farmers Stadium as part of his “Knight Under The Stars” tour.
A new program issued by the state government proposed the amalgamation of Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 2008. This led to the decision to merge the then separate councils of Thuringowa and Townsville when local elections were held in March. Former Thuringowa Mayor Les Tyrrell was elected as the first Mayor of the newly amalgamated City of Townsville.
The second phase of the Townsville Ring Road, which had begun construction in 2003, was completed in 2009 with the opening of the Condon Bypass and Shaw Road Extension.
In 2008, a Defence Department air show was held on The Strand, with an estimated attendance of at least 60,000 – more than one third of the city’s population.
2010 - present
After a two-year development project, the Flinders Street redevelopment was completed and opened to the public in 2011. The $57 million dollar project was first conceived as a way to reenergise the heart of Townsville, allowing vehicular traffic access through to shops and rebooting the ‘high street’ heritage of Townsville’s oldest street. The project received several accolades including the Walter and Oliver Tunbridge Award for Building of the Year 2013 from the Australian Institute of Architects.
On 3 February 2011, the category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi made landfall on the Queensland coast with wind gusts of approximately 135km/h felt in Townsville. The cyclone took out Townsville’s water-treatment system and threatened the water supply of many homes in Townsville and on Magnetic Island.
The Third Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) moves to Townsville.
In 2014, a partnership between Townsville City Council, the Queensland Government and the Australian Government, the Jezzine Barracks were redeveloped and transformed into an Aboriginal and military commemorative heritage site for the public. Completed in March 2014, the Barracks include an observation deck, a coastal walkway, public artworks and a restoration effort of the Kissing Point Fort complex. The North Queensland Cowboys won the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines tournament, the club’s first ever trophy.
After a grand final win over Bendigo in the WNBL at Townsville’s RSL Stadium on 9 March 2015, the professional women’s basketball team Townsville Fire were given keys to the city.
The North Queensland Cowboys won their first NRL Grand Final against the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 4 October 2015 then followed up this historic win on 26 February 2016 when they won their first World Club Challenge at the Dacia World Club Series.
2016 and Townsville celebrates its 150-year anniversary since being declared a municipality by hosting a year-long series of cultural events.