SENATOR THE HON MATTHEW CANAVAN
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Federal Member for Herbert
The North Queensland Cowboys’ bid to build a Community, Training and High Performance Centre in Townsville has received approval from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). The NAIF’s investment decision will now be considered by Minister Canavan under the requirements of the NAIF Act.
Minister Canavan said the proposed facility had successfully progressed through NAIF’S due diligence stage of assessment and an Investment Proposal was now before him.
“This is the latest NAIF project proposal to hit my desk for consideration and one of several actively moving through the NAIF approvals process,” Minister Canavan said.
“The Cowboys are seeking a $20 million NAIF loan to help achieve liftoff for this fantastic project and Phillip Thompson has championed the case at every opportunity.”
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said today’s announcement was real progress in seeing the Training and High Performance Centre become a reality.
“I’m confident the project will stack up, and when it’s built will be one of North Queensland’s premier sporting facilities,” Mr Thompson said.
“With its combination of community areas, training spaces, sports medicine and science labs, the centre will be a long term asset to the region by retaining and attracting sporting talent here in the north and injecting more business and social activity into the city.
“Of course, it will also be a not-so-secret weapon in terms of training and performance for the Cowboys!
“It will also add to the strong pipeline of NAIF investments flowing into North Queensland, including a $50 million loan to upgrade Townsville airport and around $96 million to build JCU’s Technology Innovation Complex.”
The Cowboys’ Community, Training and High Performance Centre will provide a range of wider benefits to the North Queensland community, including through:
- A sports medical and allied health service – James Cook University will host a sports science and research facility at the site boosting its diverse array or courses on offer. Mater Health will also provide medical sports consulting and rehabilitation services at the Centre
- Multi-sport high performance training spaces – As well as providing high-performance training facilities for the Cowboys, the Centre will also provide access to the same facilities to the Townsville Fire Women’s National Basketball League Club (the only professional women’s sports club in northern Australia). It will also be available to other clubs and is expected to attract touring sports teams to Townsville
- Community spaces – The Townsville City Council will have rights to provide the facilities for general community purposes
“The wider access of these facilities is exactly what NAIF investments are aimed at achieving. By building on private sector investment, our funds can ensure that new investments benefit more people from Northern Australia,” Minister Canavan said.
The project is also expected to deliver 80 direct jobs during construction, and directly and indirectly support more than 200 jobs in the region. Once operational the Centre will support 29 direct jobs.
The NAIF has so far committed to $1.4 billion in investment decisions and conditional approvals, supporting projects across northern Australia which are forecast to create more than 4,000 jobs.
A diverse range of job-generating projects are being supported, including ports, roads and airports, and investments that support businesses in tourism, education, agriculture, resources and renewable energy.
Overall, projects supported to date by NAIF are set to return $2.9 billion in public benefit.