Crucial funding for the new Cowboys’ Community, Training and High Performance Centre is now just one step away from a green light with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Hon Matt Canavan confirming a $20 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan.
The loan application has now been referred to the Queensland Government for final consideration, and Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel says the club will now wait eagerly for news before the Christmas break.
“Again we thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister Matt Canavan and Member for Herbert Phil Thompson for their support of our vision for the club and our great region,” Mr Reibel said.
“We also thank the NAIF for recognising the value of this project for our club and community, and for their assistance in guiding us to this stage of the funding process.
“A final approval in the coming weeks would see the project move from planning and into action, with projected completion in January 2021, in time for the new NRL season.
“Our new centre will be a game-changer for North Queensland’s sporting franchises and athletes and our region’s ability to generate new revenue from visiting elite teams attracted by our cutting-edge high-performance facilities and allied health services.
“We’re very excited to be now so close to our goal of securing the full funding that kicked off with the Federal Government’s $15 million grant back in March.”
The Cowboys’ Community, Training and High Performance Centre will be located on the current site of the Watpac site office at the new North Queensland Stadium, with James Cook University having agreed terms as the first tenant of the co-located space.
As part of the multi-user facilities, James Cook University will host a sports science and research facility at the site, boosting its diverse array of courses on offer.
Medical sports consulting and rehabilitation services will also be provided at the centre, while the Townsville City Council will have rights to the community field for general community purposes.
Minister Matt Canavan said the project was an excellent example of how the NAIF is delivering for Northern Australia.
“The 8,000 square metre centre will be part of the new stadium precinct near the Townsville CBD and will provide high performance training facilities for the Cowboys.
“Access will be available for other clubs, including the Townsville Fire, Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) team, and touring sporting teams.
“The project is also expected to deliver more than 200 direct jobs during construction. Once operational the centre will support almost 60 direct jobs,” Mr Canavan said.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the facility’s benefits will flow through the Townsville and broader North Queensland community.
“It’s encouraging to see the process for this funding continue because I know just what a great facility it will be for Townsville. Not only is it great for our favourite NRL club, but it will benefit many other sporting groups.
“With its combination of community areas, training spaces, sports medicine and science labs, the centre will be a long-term asset to the region,” Mr Thompson said.