Joint media release with Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry, Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson, and Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald
James Cook University (JCU) can push ahead with major works on its new Technology Innovation Complex that will create new jobs in the region, after the loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) reached financial close.
This means JCU can now draw on the $96 million NAIF loan to fund construction of the four-storey complex at the Bebegu Yumba campus in Townsville, which will be the centrepiece of a new innovation hub.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the new complex will become a central place for engineering and IT students to collaborate with researchers and industry.
“The Technology Innovation Complex project is expected to create around 300 construction jobs and more than 500 other jobs, with at least 80% of subcontractors and suppliers locally sourced, and it is part of the wider redevelopment of the JCU Townsville campus,” Minister Pitt said.
“With NAIF support, the University is undertaking projects to rejuvenate the campus and to make sure JCU remains a great place for students, for research and for innovation.”
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the NAIF was also supporting a new student accommodation building through a $46 million loan.
“NAIF continues to support crucial projects and jobs across our north, with around 80 per cent of subcontractors and suppliers for the Technology Innovation Complex to be sourced locally,” Assistant Minister Landry said.
“The new facilities will help attract more students from regional Australia, and from overseas, to study engineering in Townsville, providing more opportunities and supporting our northern economy.”
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the NAIF had been a strong supporter of the Townsville region with finance for four key projects so far, worth more than $230 million.
“NAIF investments are supporting around 3,000 jobs in north Queensland and helping to make sure the region can maximise its economic potential,” Mr Thompson said.
“NAIF has approved finance for projects at the Mater Hospital, the Townsville Airport, and the newly opened Cowboys Community and High Performance Centre.”
Townsville-based Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the $5 billion NAIF was creating jobs, opportunities and development across the north.
“The Australian Government remains committed to maximising opportunities for investment, for businesses and for people in Northern Australia,” Senator McDonald said.
“I congratulate NAIF and JCU for reaching financial close on the new Technology Innovation Complex, which will become a major attraction for engineering and IT students when it opens in 2023.
“Importantly, this gives people the chance to study these subjects and stay in the North.”
To date, NAIF has supported 25 projects across northern Australia with committed investment worth $2.9 billion. In Queensland, NAIF has approved loans to ten projects worth over $1 billion in investment.