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Recent News & Updates

Media Release: Paynters to lead Townsville’s Reef HQ Aquarium refurbishment

An $80.1 million refurbishment of the Australian Government’s global education centre for the Great Barrier Reef is one step closer, with the appointment of the project’s principal contractor.

Paynters has been appointed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to oversee the renewal of its 34-year-old facility Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville, Queensland.

The contract between Paynters and GBRMPA will cover all works under the now fully funded Reef HQ 20-year Master Plan.

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Media Release: Terminal Works Taking Off at Townsville Airport

Key upgrades at Townsville Airport terminal are moving forward – despite the ongoing impacts of travel restrictions.

The first project – involving the security screening zone, check-in areas and adjoining retail space – has been awarded to local company Core Developments NQ following an extensive tender process.

Thanks to a $9.15 million Federal Government grant, this project will create 17 construction jobs directly and take about six months to complete. The project includes a reconfiguration of the security screening area to make it about three times larger and accommodate the Federal Government’s enhanced security screening requirements.

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Media Release: Federal funding for Townsville City Council

More than $4.68 million worth of federal funding to boost services and facilities for locals has been paid to Townsville City Council in just the last three months.

Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said $3.68 million of this financial year’s $7.68 million allocation of Financial Assistance Grants had already been paid to the Council in June, with the first quarterly payment of the remainder, worth just under $1 million, made last month.

Mr Thompson said the funding showed the Federal Government was focussed on making Townsville an even better place to live and work.

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Media Release: New delivery vehicle keeps school students fuelled

A local charity ensuring school students are well-fed before a day of learning has a new delivery vehicle, thanks to federal funding.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson helped unload donated breakfast goods from the new car, purchased with the assistance of a $19,990 grant through the Stronger Communities Program, at Northern Beaches State High School today.

Mr Thompson said the vehicle would help local charity Fuel for Schools reach more of the 1 in 7 kids in our community who don’t eat breakfast.

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Media Release: Haughton Pipeline Stage 2 not started 12 months on

Federal Herbert MP Phillip Thompson says the community has been let down by the State Labor Government which has broken its promise to build Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline within 18 months.

Mr Thompson said today marked one year since Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick handed back $195 million of federal funding for the critical project, based on a farcical argument about GST.

“One year ago, the State Labor Government put politics ahead of our community by rejecting $195 million of locked-and-loaded funding for Stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Construction completed on patient accommodation facility

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people visiting Townsville for medical treatment will have a comfortable place to stay, after the opening of the Yumba-Meta Supported Transitional Health Accommodation in Rasmussen today.

The centre was partly funded through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, which contributed $2.9 million of the $5.4 million project.

Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said it was important that people who visit from outlying remote communities for medical treatment had a safe place to stay.

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Media Release: Funding to help people experiencing mental illness into work

Headspace Townsville will continue to help locals experiencing mental illness into work following the extension of funding for the Individual Placement and Support Program.

The Townsville headspace site will continue to run the successful program to address barriers preventing people with mental illness from finding and keeping a job.

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the program integrates educational and workforce support with clinical mental health services, helping young people secure employment opportunities.

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Media Release: $5m grant to turbocharge aquaculture research in the north

The farming of fast-growing, highly efficient aquaculture species that are able to resist impacts of costly diseases will soon become a reality, with James Cook University and partners awarded $4.9 million from the Australian Research Council through their Industrial Transformation Research Program.

The Director of the new Research Hub, Professor Dean Jerry, said the funding will establish the “ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture through Genetic Solutions”, which will be funded for 5 years and work to transform the productivity of aquaculture species farmed in the north.

The program will apply modern genetic, selective breeding and artificial intelligence approaches to dramatically improve the productivity of farming five important northern Australian aquaculture species, namely barramundi, pearl oyster, black tiger prawn, grouper and marine red-algae.

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Media Release: Arts community snubbed as Riverway Arts Centre still not reopened after 2019 floods

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson says Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill needs to explain to the community why the Riverway Arts Centre hasn’t reopened two-and-a-half years after the 2019 floods.

The 400-patron capacity contemporary studio-style performance space has been closed since February 2019 when it sustained significant water damage in the monsoon flood event.

Council initially advised the Centre would be open by the end of July 2019, then in May, pushed the deadline back to September 2019. In December 2019, Council advised there was still more work to be completed.

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Media Release: Townsville City Deal Continues to Deliver

The Morrison Government has today announced a $55 million investment in two key projects as part of the transformational Townsville City Deal.

The investment will help revitalise two iconic organisations in North Queensland.

A $40 million funding boost will help transform Reef HQ – the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium – into Australia’s national centre of excellence for tropical coral reef education, making it a premium international tourism destination as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

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Media Release: Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide formally established

Federal Member for Herbert and Afghanistan veteran Phillip Thompson has welcomed the formal establishment of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

The Royal Commission will inquire into systemic issues and common themes related to defence and veteran death by suicide, including the possible contribution of pre-service, service, transition, separation and post-service issues, and other matters believed by the Royal Commission to be relevant to its inquiry.

“This is something the Townsville defence and veteran community has been wanting for a very long time and I’m very glad we’ve reached this milestone,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: International Rugby Sevens Tournament Brings Boost for Townsville

Townsville rugby fans and business owners alike are reaping the benefits of this weekend’s PacificAus Rugby Sevens tournament.

Federal Herbert MP Phillip Thompson attended Saturday evening’s matches and represented Foreign Minister Marise Payne at a reception event with diplomats from the Pacific and representatives of Oceania Rugby and Rugby Australia.

He said Townsville’s hosting of the event, which was supported by the Australian Government and designed to help teams prepare for next month’s Olympics, was a huge boost for the city.

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