Support for simulation training facility welcomed

Date published: 21 April 2022

A commitment from Federal Labor to provide funding to develop an industry-leading simulation training facility in Townsville should it form government after the upcoming election has been welcomed.

NQ Spark will focus on defence, emergency services, health and disaster management capability as well as providing an experimentation centre for research, development and human performance studies.

The facility is being developed in Townsville’s Tropical Intelligence and Health Precinct (TropiQ), under a partnership involving Townsville City Council, James Cook University (JCU), Townsville Hospital and Health Service (THHS) and Queensland Government.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Townsville was the ideal location to establish such a cutting-edge facility.

“NQ Spark will build upon local expertise in simulation-enabled training to develop a simulation park with flexible, multipurpose applications for advanced training, including an experimentation centre for research, development, and human performance studies,” Cr Hill said.

“Several leading national universities and industry partners with expertise in simulation and technology have expressed interest in the project.”

The business case for NQ Spark found that construction of the facility would see an estimated $255 million invested in the local economy, with around $170 million of that going directly to local companies.

It is also expected to support around 830 full-time-equivalent jobs during construction and a further 380 jobs once operational, with more jobs expected as the business expands.

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs said NQ Spark aligned with TropiQ’s vision to create leading-edge, purpose-built infrastructure that would house the most exciting projects in Australia.

“NQ Spark will bring together innovators and problem solvers from across industry to research, test and operationalise the latest technologies,” Professor Biggs said.

“NQ Spark will provide an advantage for our city to attract international investment and leverage a new knowledge economy with global reach and impact.”

THHS Board Chairperson Tony Mooney said NQ Spark would advance health, education, and research in North Queensland.

“The high-tech jobs which NQ Spark will support will ensure Townsville and North Queensland has the expertise it needs to supercharge future growth to meet the future health challenges,” Mr Mooney said.

“The commitment made today to provide funding to help bring this facility to fruition is recognition of the importance it will play in the long-term future for this region and our nation.”