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Friday 6 December 2019: Woolworths and Queensland builder Spaceframe have today turned the first sod on a $12 million expansion of the existing Townsville Regional Distribution Centre (TRDC) to improve stock availability for North Queensland customers year-round.

Upon completion, the site will more than double its footprint to 10,000 square metres - making it the largest food and grocery distribution centre in North Queensland and significantly boosting the capacity of warehouse to service local stores.

It will also create 30 additional permanent jobs at the TRDC along with an estimated 170 construction jobs throughout the seven-month build.

The expansion of the TRDC was first announced in February 2019 as part of a broader $20 million investment in the local store and supply chain network.

Woolworths Chief Supply Chain Officer Paul Graham said: “This $12m investment in our Townsville Distribution Centre forms a key part of our ambition to create Australia’s best supply chain network for our customers.

“It will not only allow for more frequent, faster and fresher deliveries to local stores year-round, but also help build much needed resilience in our North Queensland supply chain network in the event of natural disasters. 

“We’re more than doubling our footprint at this distribution centre, which means we can hold many more essential items locally in the event of flooding or cyclone.

“We’re delighted to have appointed Queensland builder Spaceframe to deliver the project and grateful for the support from Townsville City Council during the planning process.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill, who joined an event on-site to mark the start of construction, said the investment being made by Woolworths was a vote of confidence in the city.

“The expansion is great news for Woolworths and the Townsville community. It is exciting to have this project and other developments underway across our city.

“Townsville’s location makes it the natural choice for warehousing and distribution for northern Queensland.”

State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart commended the investment and said: “The centre will provide new job opportunities for our city and greater reliability of stock when natural disasters like our recent floods and cyclones damage the supply chain network. We know when floods and cyclones come that it can mean empty shelves across the region - infrastructure upgrades like this will help assist Townsville when we need it most.”

The works are expected to be completed around mid-2020 and the existing parts of the TRDC will continue to service Far North Queensland stores during construction.

At full capacity, up to 340,000 cartons a week will move through TRDC bringing customers fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, groceries and liquor from hundreds of suppliers. The TRDC currently services 39 Woolworths supermarkets spanning from Sarina to Weipa. 

The $12m expansion project follows Woolworths’ $250,000 donation to the Salvation Army’s Emergency Appeal in February and six-week rebuild at the flood affected Fairfield Central store unveiled in April.

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