Museum taking the inside out during extended closure period

03 June 2020

Townsville’s award winning Museum of Tropical Queensland will remain closed until early 2021 as it undergoes major internal and external construction works.

The building roof works are part of a $6 million project, funded by the Queensland Government, to repair damage from the 2019 monsoonal event and to restore the iconic sail roof on the Flinders Street Building constructed in 2000.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the new roof was a well-received   investment for the museum and the city during COVID-19.

“Museum of Tropical Queensland has been a welcoming place for thousands of visitors over the years and although the museum will be physically closed to the public, visitors can still experience the wondrous collection and objects online during this time,” Dr Thompson said.

Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the works would improve the building’s structure and create local employment equivalent to 30 full time jobs.

“Museum of Tropical Queensland will continue to engage with the North Queensland community and schools over the coming months.” Minister Enoch said.

“During the COVID-19 closure, Queensland Museum Network launched a Museum at Home website to provide online learning and collections from home and the digital platform will continue to allow museum visitors to experience exhibitions, hear about latest research, and learn about our collections, activities and resources.

“Museum staff, including some of our top scientists, will connect with locals and students virtually and in person throughout the remainder of 2020 and early 2021.”

The State Collection held at Museum of Tropical Queensland will be completely secure during the roof operations. This includes safeguarding one the largest coral collections in the world; a biodiversity library of more than 50,000 specimens; the State Maritime Collection with at least   9,000 objects from 25 shipwrecks along the Queensland coast and the North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection with objects dating back to the 1800s.

Once completed in early 2021, there will be no change to the roof appearance with the iconic curved roof alongside Ross Creek remaining the same – both inside and out.

Access to Wickham St, between the Queensland Building, and the Ross Creek side of the museum including the grassed area and boardwalk along the water will continue to be closed to the public during the works period.

Visitors and Annual Pass holders will be kept up-to-date via the museum’s social media channels and information about the works can be found here on Museum of Tropical Queensland website.

People can keep up to date with the building works by following Museum of Tropical Queensland’s social media channels.

Queensland Museum Network will be reopening across its network as part of the staged easing of COVID-19 restrictions. More information will be provided via the Queensland Museum website and social media channels. 

Media Contact:

Andrea Hughes, Museum of Tropical Queensland P: (07) 4726 0604 or M: 0497 347 117 

Kylie Hay, Senior Media Advisor, Queensland Museum P: (07) 3842 9388 or M: 0434 565 852