Boost for Townsville-based national simulation training and research facility

Date published: 9 March 2022

The development of an industry-leading simulation training facility for defence, education and health in Townsville is a step closer with Townsville City Council’s Business Services and Finance Committee today recommending the establishment of a company to bring the facility to fruition.

The recommendation will now be considered by the full Council at its next meeting on 23 March 2022.

“NQ Spark will be a game changer for our city and region,” Mayor Jenny Hill said.

“It is being developed with support from Council, James Cook University, Townsville Hospital and Health Service and Queensland Government.

“It will be northern Australia’s first collaborative industry hub focused on defence, emergency services, health and disaster management capability as well as an experimentation centre for research, development and human performance studies.”

Business Services and Finance Committee chairperson Councillor Margie Ryder said the facility, to be built in Douglas between James Cook University, Townsville University Hospital and Lavarack Barracks, would include around 13,400 square metres of commercial industry space.

“Townsville is home to Australia’s largest army base, the largest tertiary hospital in northern Australia, and a leading university, not to mention our proximity to the pacific and Asia,” Cr Ryder said.

“It makes perfect sense to establish Australia’s future simulation training base for defence, disaster response and emergency services in our region.

“The business case for NQ Spark, which was completed late last year, 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.

“Cubic Defence Australia has already signed up to establish its Australian headquarters at the facility and we are receiving strong interest from industry, universities and other government and defence agencies across the country.”

Cr Ryder said Council’s willingness to lead the development of NQ Spark reinforced its commitment to growing Townsville and working to ensure its long-term economic security.

For more information, visit Townsville North Queensland Defence Strategy.