Media Releases

6 August 2019

NAIF-supported Technology Innovation Complex reaches project milestone

The construction of the James Cook University (JCU) Technology Innovation Complex (TIC) has reached a significant milestone with the signing of loan documents between the Queensland Government and JCU.

This is the first NAIF Queensland loan Facility Agreement to be entered into and follows NAIF’s Investment Decision in June 2018 to provide a loan of up to $98m towards the development in Townsville. The signing of the agreement signals the green light for JCU to now undertake detailed design work on the project.

NAIF has now committed $783m or 55% of its total loan commitments to projects in Queensland through Investment Decisions and conditional approvals. The most recent came earlier this month with a $610m loan commitment towards the Genex Power pumped storage hydro project.

The final agreed NAIF loan amount of $96m is part of a bundle of projects totalling $174m that will modernise James Cook University’s Townsville campus. It is estimated the full project will generate public benefit exceeding $700m over 30 years including the creation of around 270 construction and other jobs.

The five level, 10,000m2 TIC will be the centrepiece of an innovation hub in which undergraduate and post-graduate engineering and IT students, industry partners and researchers will converge and collaborate. Construction is expected to commence in mid-2020.

Ms Laurie Walker, NAIF CEO, said: “NAIF has demonstrated its commitment to northern Queensland through this important project. As the first NAIF loan Facility Agreement signed to benefit Queenslanders today’s announcement is welcomed.”

“NAIF’s early support for JCU provided JCU with the confidence to commit resources and undertake predevelopment activities to progress to today’s announcement.”

“From education facilities like the TIC, to the upgrade of the Townville airport, to the Kidston renewable energy project, NAIF is progressing growth and investment into Queensland. We look forward to building on our working relationship with the Queensland State Government to develop more projects in the region and congratulate the parties on today’s signing.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is a Commonwealth Government $5 billion lending facility to finance projects via the governments of the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia to achieve growth in the economies and populations of northern Australia and encourage and complement private sector investment in northern Australia.

NAIF has to date committed $1.4 billion in loans, through Investment Decisions and conditional approvals, to 13 infrastructure projects across northern Australia. This is comprised of:

    • $783m for Queensland,
    • $345m for the Northern Territory; and
    • $295m for Western Australia.

Since May 2018 when changes were introduced to the NAIF Investment Mandate 2018, NAIF has made 12 loan commitments.

Across the eleven projects on which NAIF has made an Investment Decision forecasts are for:

  • $2.6bn in public benefit is forecast to be generated; and
  • 3,605 jobs to be created (2,890 in construction and 715 during operations).
NAME ASSET LOAN AMOUNT UP TO ECONOMIC IMPACT AND PUBLIC BENEFIT ESTIMATED TO INCLUDE
Genex Power Pumped storage hydro renewable energy generation $610m $814m public benefit to the broader economy and community including $235m direct value added for Far North Queensland.

 

Long term stability to remote part of power network.

510 jobs during construction phase of both the project and supporting transmission line. 30 ongoing operational jobs.

Queensland Airports Limited Redevelopment and expansion of Townsville Airport Terminal $50m $94 million in economic benefits for the region over the next 30 years through additional regional visitor spend, traveller time savings and other benefits to the public.

207 construction jobs and 50 ongoing operational roles.

James Cook University Development of a 10,000m2 Technology Innovation Complex in Townsville for students, industry partners and researchers. $98m (final agreed amount $96m) Full Enterprise Bundle forecast public benefits exceeding $700 million over 30 years.

270 construction jobs.

Commercial in Confidence (Conditional Approval) $25m Public benefit analysis to be finalised.