THERE’S NO SINGLE ROAD MAP FOR THE FUTURE WHICH ALL CITIES CAN FOLLOW BUT FOR REGIONAL CENTRES SUCH AS TOWNSVILLE TO PROSPER, A STRATEGY IS NEEDED.
Townsville City Council launched the Townsville 2020 masterplan, and a clear vision for the city has been created to deliver world class experiences for locals that will drive economic growth, attract investment and greater tourism spending.
Deputy Mayor and Planning and Development Committee Chair Cr Les Walker said Townsville 2020 is about enhancing our city – making it better than ever. “We have every reason to feel positive about the future of our city, and our vision is to capture the key elements of our region that make Townsville unique and build on them,” Cr Walker said.
Townsville 2020 provides the clear vision for our community to provide confidence for businesses to invest in our city.
A key project will transform The Strand by building a massive new lagoon. The Crystal Lagoon will be the largest man-made pool in northern Australia.
Cr Walker said the Lagoon is a crucial project because it will make The Strand even more popular with locals and visitors and open up new commercial opportunities in the area.
“The Strand has become Townsville’s premier public parkland and thousands of people walk along the promenade every day and night,” Cr Walker said. “And there will be fantastic opportunities for local businesses to establish themselves next to the lagoon to take advantage of this major new tourism attraction.”
The first few Townsville 2020 projects have been identified and are rapidly taking shape. “Riverway, Mount Louisa and Castle Hill are excellent examples of how we aim to enrich our natural assets,” Cr Walker said. “Council is starting work on a concept plan to build a water park at Riverway, to make it even more popular with local families. “Mount Louisa is set to become as popular as Castle Hill as a new outdoor and recreation area – but much more convenient for anyone living in nearby suburbs. “And Castle Hill will be re-imagined whether it is through new dining opportunities on the summit to adventure tourism ventures on the way up or down.”
A crucial project is the North Queensland Stadium, which has set high goals in job creation and long term economic activation. The stadium precinct is a project that has already proven to be a catalyst in attracting major investment, with a proposed 4.5 star Double Tree by Hilton hotel to be built in the area.
Cr Walker said the Stadium Precinct will be developed to accommodate more than the NQ Cowboys during the NRL season. “It is important we create an area for the community to use all year round, not just during the football season,” he said. “We want the Stadium Precinct to be a key economic driver for the city, and we are already seeing the stadium acting as a catalyst for further development – and most importantly jobs.”
Council has also put forward draft guidelines for public consultation for future development on the Waterfront Priority Area (PDA) that could see major investment along the Ross Creek area. The draft guidelines will provide clarity on what types of buildings and design standards can be used in future developments throughout the PDA including public spaces such as walkways and parks.
Cr Walker said community members and businesses would have the chance to submit feedback on the draft guidelines.
“These guidelines will provide clear instructions about what design standards should be used for future projects within the Waterfront Priority Development Area,” Cr Walker said. “The Priority Development Area will help encourage development along the Ross Creek and we want to make sure the design of any future project fits with the vision for our city and is suitable for Townsville’s tropical climate.”
Importantly, it’s not just the CBD area that is being targeted in this vision, with locations throughout the suburbs a key focus of the Townsville 2020 Masterplan. “Townsville 2020 is about all of our city and providing world-class experiences for locals, no matter where they live,” Cr Walker said.