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Works Commence On $50 Million Cairns Aquarium

29th October 2015


The FKG Group has been awarded the $37 million turnkey contract for the main construction component of Australia’s first public aquarium in 17 years.

To celebrate the commencement of works, Federal Member for Leichardt, Warren Entsch, Cairns Regional Council Mayor, Terry James, local Cairns councillors, FKG Group Project Manager, Mark Pengilly and Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Daniel Leipnik came together yesterday for a sod turning ceremony.

Mr Pengilly commented that the FKG Group was extremely proud to be awarded the contract to deliver this flagship tourism and research facility for the Cairns community.

“To be awarded another package in the Cairns community on the back of the recently completed Tjapukai Cultural Centre and Cairns State High School Year Seven Building projects is a testament to the FKG Group’s expertise in delivering quality, local projects.”

The development of the tourism facility, which is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors per year, is estimated to create 250 construction jobs, 100 design and engineering positions, 50 pre-operational staff positions and 80 full time jobs once the facility is operational.

Mr Pengilly commented that substantial economic benefits are expected for the local community with engagement of local industry to complete the 7,500 square metre, three-level facility, which will display 11 diverse wet and dry tropics zones, that are represented through a 2.5 hour immersive and life-like visitor journey.

“Content from local business and suppliers will be key to delivering multiple works packages, which include the building of multi-million litre tanks, gulf savannah freshwater exhibits, outer reef exhibits, underwater tunnels, mangrove boardwalks and up to 70 key living exhibits housing over 15,000 fish, animals and plants,” said Mr Pengilly.

The Cairns Aquarium, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Daniel Leipnik commented that the development was a landmark achievement for the Cairns community.

“After four years of full time planning work and the involvement of over 120 staff at twenty firms, all levels of Government, and dedicated Aquarium staff, we look forward to facilitating a successful project programme with the FKG Group and community, to deliver an incredible new iconic CBD attraction, which will showcase the amazing flora and fauna that Australia’s Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef are renowned for,” said Mr Leipnik.

Following the official sod turning ceremony, project mobilisation of earthworks, engineering and procurement components will commence immediately.

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