Cairns Aquarium’s Centrepiece Exhibit Pours Out Major Milestone

18th April 2016

The FKG Group has today cast the concrete slab to Cairns Aquarium’s centrepiece exhibit, The Great Barrier Reef Main Oceanarium, marking a significant milestone in the $50 million flagship project.

The main tank pour is the culmination of three weeks of preparation by local suppliers and FKG Group’s team, at Australia’s first new public aquarium in 17 years, a project which is generating new jobs, tourism infrastructure investment and other vital economic benefits for Queensland.

FKG Group Project Manager, Mark Pengilly, says the scale and complexity of the project makes it a landmark event in the local construction industry.

“The base slab of The Great Barrier Reef Oceanarium, the aquarium’s largest exhibit, requires 390 cubic metres of a special liquid retaining concrete delivered by 80 concrete trucks, which is poured up to 1m thick and is supported by 93 tonnes of locally made reinforcing steel,” Mr Pengilly said.

“The concrete, which will take nine hours to pump into position, has gone through stringent trials and testing to ensure it meets the strict specifications required for temperature at delivery, strength, durability, and reduced shrinkage-induced cracking according to AS 3735-2001.”

Once the concrete mix is finally in place, it then undergoes a further seven-day curing period to assist in producing the quality of concrete required for the water pressure of a two million litre salt water aquarium.

The main tank pour is yet another milestone of the project, following the tower crane arriving on site in March.

Cairns Aquarium Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Leipnik, believes the scale of the project showcases the quality of Cairns’ construction industry.

“The project is being undertaken by a number of local firms and construction workers and provides a national platform to showcase the quality of our local tradespeople,” Mr Leipnik said.

“The local involvement ensures the Cairns Aquarium is a project by and for the people of Cairns, and the boost it will provide to our tourism industry ensures it is a project for the whole region.”

Upon completion, the Cairns Aquarium is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors per year and create 80 full-time jobs. A dedicated Reef Research facility will conduct vital R&D in species preservation and repopulation efforts along with aquaculture reproductive biotechnology development. It will also generate collaborations with industry partners, the education and research sector and all three levels of Government. The construction project remains on track for completion in April 2017.

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