Construction starts on landmark CTEC
James Cook University has turned the first sod on its newest building site, marking the official start to the construction of the Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC).
The $50M project will stand alongside Cairns Hospital’s new 32-bed surgical centre on Charles Street in North Cairns, as part of the Far North Queensland Health Innovation Precinct.
Images revealed in July show a striking four-storey building featuring engineered-timber construction.
“Today we’re starting our build, creating a centre for clinical teaching, training and research in medicine, allied health and related disciplines – all aligned to the needs of this region and its health workforce,” JCU Vice Chancellor Simon Biggs said on Wednesday.
“This is a landmark that we’re proud to be building – one that celebrates its place in tropical Cairns, and will help secure a healthier future for Cairns and Far North Queensland.”
Professor Biggs acknowledged the support of current and previous governments in addressing the region’s health challenges.
He said the University was also honoured to reveal a new name for the Far North Queensland Health and Innovation Precinct, bestowed by local Traditional Owners.
Gimuy Walubara Yidinji Elder Henrietta Marrie presented the new name for the Precinct in a ceremony on site today – the Dugurrdja Precinct.
“In our Yidinji language, Dugurrdja is the name of the Milky Way – our galaxy – which we see in the southern sky at night, arching from the sea to the mountains,” Mrs Marrie said.
“Dugurrdja represents the knowledge, the songlines and stories that flow through this country.
“We’re proud to be participating as partners in this project, so we chose a name that represents the coming together of knowledge.
“The Milky Way can be seen by people around the world. The work that happens here will reach out around the world, and it will take with it the Yidinji name of Dugurrdja, so everyone will know where it comes from.
”We welcome people to this place, but we also ensure it is protected under Dugurrdja.”
Leena Singh, Chief Executive of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) said the partnership with JCU underpins the development of the health, research and education precinct at Cairns Hospital.
“There is currently over $350 million being invested in developing Cairns Hospital, including a new surgical centre, emergency department expansion and a new mental health building, which is due to open next year,” Ms Singh said.
“As we continue to grow, partnerships with providers such as JCU are important in attracting, retaining and developing high health and research talent to the region.
"This partnership along with the development of the health, research and education precinct will generate ideas, research and innovation that will ultimately translate to improved health outcomes for our communities,” she said.
CTEC has been designed by Wilson Architects, in collaboration with local firm Clark & Prince Architects. It will be built by BESIX Watpac.
The four-storey building will house a multi-disciplinary clinic on the ground floor, with teaching and research facilities on the floors above. It will also be a meeting point where health and medical staff can connect with JCU’s engineers, data scientists, and IT specialists.
The $50M project will create an estimated 150 jobs during its construction, and is planned for completion by early 2025.
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