||James Cook University (formerly known as
the University College of Townsville) was proclaimed as an Act
of Parliament on 20 April 1970. The University was officially
opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
Cyclone Althea struck Townsville on Christmas
Eve. An estimated $50 million worth of damage was caused with
hundreds of homes on the mainland and over 90 per cent of those
on Magnetic Island damaged or destroyed. A three metre storm
surge was recorded north of the area. There were three deaths.
A nickel refinery at Yabula was opened for
The Australian Institute of Marine Science
(AIMS) opened at Pallarenda.
The Ross River was dammed to mitigate against
flooding and improve water availability.
The Townsville Civic Theatre opened with
a variety concert of local performers. A number of professional
and community-based theatre companies have been established
including Tropic Line, and the North Queensland Opera and Music
The Flinders Street Mall was opened on 1 November.
Townsville Mayor Perc Tucker and Alderman Mike
Reynolds unveiling the plaque at the Flinders Mall Opening,
The Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery opened
in Flinders Mall. The building was originally erected in 1885
for the Union Bank of Australia.
Edward Koiki Mabo, a Townsville resident,
and a number of other local Aboriginal leaders held a conference
at James Cook University and decided to pursue a native land
title claim for the people of the Murray Islands in the High
Court of Australia.
On 1 January Thuringowa was proclaimed a
City. The City continues to be among the fastest growing areas
The Sheraton Breakwater Hotel and Casino
(now known as Jupiters Casino) was opened to the public.
Wonderland (now known as Reef HQ) opened on 24 June.
The 'Mabo' land rights campaign successfully
overcame the law of 'terra nullius' when the High Court of Australia
gave recognition of indigenous land ownership.
The Townsville Suns played their first National
Basketball League match on 23 April at the Townsville Entertainment
Centre. Forced to change their name in 1997 due to copyright
regulations, the team became the Crocodiles. The Entertainment
Centre has become affectionately nicknamed 'The Swamp'.
Laurie Spina led the North Queensland Cowboys
onto Stockland Stadium (now known as Dairy Famers Stadium) for
their first ever clash on 11 March.
Two Black Hawk helicopters collided in a
training accident on 12 June, killing 18 soldiers. A memorial
was erected in the Palmetum in 1997 .
The Mango Rico company was established with
the famous liquor launched in 1997 .
Damage to The Strand, 1998 >>
On 10 January, torrential rain fell in Townsville
causing wide-spread flooding throughout the city. The Strand
was extensively damaged.
re-developed Strand opened on
A ceremony to mark the unveiling and proclamation
of the first Australian flag was held in Townsville. This event
took place at the opening of Federation North, a national event
commemorating the anniversary of the Federation of Australia.
The new Townsville Hospital opened at Douglas.
Construction commenced on the Douglas Arterial
Road. The project included the construction of a new bridge
across the Ross River.
The new Townsville Railway Station opened
to accommodate the new Tilt Train service.
Premier Peter Beattie, Mayor Tony Mooney
and Mike Reynolds MLA opened the Nelly Bay Harbour ferry terminal
on Magnetic Island.