The first of ten cranes has sprung up at the Queen’s Wharf building site in Brisbane city, as the casino and resort development moves from the excavation to construction phase.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones says the 49-metre high tower Favco crane will be used to construct one of four hotel and residential towers, with another to go up next week.

“When you have up to ten tower cranes on the city skyline, that’s a great thing,” she said.

“This is a $3.6 billion project that will create long term sustainable jobs in Brisbane, and also be a game-changer for Queensland’s tourism industry.”

When completed in 2022, Queen’s Wharf will boast four luxury hotels, 50 new bars and restaurants, 2000 residential apartments and the size equivalent of 12 football fields of public space.

Rock and dirt that would fill 160 Olympic-sized swimming pools has been dug out of the site between William and George Streets over the past two and a half years to create space for the new complex’s foundations and parking levels.

“It’s about 400,000 cubic metres of rock, most of which has gone to the new auto mall at Brisbane airport,” said project manager for the Destination Brisbane Consortium Simon Crooks.

“We recycle most of it, crush it, it goes over there, and they use it as fill-in.”

The $3.6 billion dollar project began in early 2016 with the demolition of non-heritage government buildings on George Street, including the Executive Building and Neville Bonner Building.

Builder Multiplex will take over from Probuild in July, with 2000 jobs expected in the construction phase.

Minister Jones said 8000 ongoing jobs will start being recruited from next year.

“Each year we expect it to inject tens of millions of dollars back into the local economy,” Ms Jones said.

Star Entertainment Group general manager Geoff Hogg said the design plan also includes public space the size of 12 football fields.

He rejected concerns the true amount of public accessibility would be limited; or that people would be funnelled towards gambling options.

“The casino is actually located above the main floor area, so literally you would only need to go through that if you were actually choosing to go to the casino,” he said.

“Everything else is accessible by different ways… people will be able to access the whole precinct.”