04 November 2015


A Shorten Labor Government will provide $100 million to build a new Townsville Stadium in partnership with the Queensland Labor Government.

Construction of the project is expected to support over 700 jobs in the region, and make a significant boost to the local economy.

For too long, football fans have been watching their Rugby League and other sport at sub-standard facilities compared to football stadiums in southern Queensland and New South Wales.

Labor will change this.

North Queensland and the City of Townsville need a first class sports stadium so that it can compete on the national stage.

Townsville continues to grow as a key northern Australia hub, critical to the economy of Far North Queensland.

Modern community infrastructure is critical to local economics, particularly in regional centres, helping to drive economic growth and local jobs.

North Queensland is proud Rugby League territory, and the North Queensland Cowboys’ success in winning the 2015 National Rugby League Premiership demonstrates its sporting strength.

A world class footy team deserves world class facilities.

The 1300SMILES Stadium has undergone improvements over the last 20 years to meet minimum standards to host the North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL – but the bare minimum is not good enough.

There’s no doubt the stadium is ageing, with very poor roof coverage, and will be reaching the end of its useful life within the next decade.

There is a need for either substantial re-development of the current stadium, rebuilding on the current site or re-locating a new stadium to closer to the city.

Labor supports a new stadium in Townsville CBD, which has a number of benefits:

  • Close proximity to transport and hospitality facilities

  • Expanded capacity above the current 26,500

  • First class sporting facilities

  • Construction can run concurrently to the operation of the current stadium, ensuring no home games are lost and fixtures can continue to be played at 1300SMILES Stadium.

  • The surrounding grounds of the stadium would facilitate a precinct approach for both event and non-event days, creating an exciting new space in Townsville.

  • The new Northern Stand of the stadium would have a permanent lower bowl and that would allow for a possible expansion of the facility to a 30,000 seats stadium in the future.


Townsville Enterprise, a group comprising the Council, local businesses and stakeholders has been actively seeking funding commitments from both the State and Federal Governments and Opposition to replace the ageing stadium.

Labor expects stadium construction to commence by early 2018, with the ground complete for the 2020 NRL season.

This project will be an important boost to the local community, and Labor will work with the Queensland Labor Government and the Council to encourage as much of the work is sourced locally as possible.

Labor’s commitment of $100 million is dollar for dollar with the Queensland Government’s commitment, to ensure that this important project gets off the ground.

This government funding is expected to attract a further $50 million from the Council and the National Rugby League.

Our commitment is contingent on the business case for the project being endorsed and agreed by all relevant parties.

Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver the Townsville stadium that Townsville deserves.