City leaders keen for action on commitments to grow Townsville and northern Australia

Date published: 25 May 2022

Townsville’s city leaders have joined voices to welcome immediate progression toward major project funding and policy commitments following the Federal election.

Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce have extended an invitation to Australia’s new Prime Minister to visit the city to see how the Australian Government’s major funding commitments will position Townsville as the industrial powerhouse of the North.

In close proximity to Asia and the Pacific, Townsville is positioned to play a key strategic role in growing jobs for Australia through future-based industries like NQ Spark, the Lansdown Eco-industrial Precinct and the Townsville Hydrogen Hub.

Mayor Jenny Hill said once operational, these projects would contribute more than $1.6 billion annually to the Townsville GRP and Australia’s national productivity.

“The Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct alone is estimated to create more than 7,400 construction jobs and once operational will contribute more than 6,600 ongoing jobs to the region,” Cr Hill said.

“With the commitment from the Australian Government, Lansdown is on track to be Australia’s first environmentally sustainable, advanced manufacturing, processing and technology precinct powered by locally generated renewable energy.

“There has been substantial interest from private industry with more than 90 per cent of the land now allocated to proponents.

“The Labor Government’s commitment of $22 million to the project is the sort of foresight we have needed to establish the enabling common-user infrastructure to ensure these private industries can progress with their investments and finalise designs and approval.”

Further to that, the $32 million commitment to NQ Spark will secure a further 830 jobs during construction, and once operational will support more than 700 ongoing positions.

Townsville Enterprise CEO Claudia Brumme-Smith said that NQ Spark had been flagged for its capability to deliver world leading simulation enabled training, innovation and research to unlock the North’s potential as a key sovereign industrial centre.

“Labor’s commitment of $32 million provides the capital required to take NQ Spark to construction, allowing the city to consolidate and maximise the confluence of regional defence, science, health and knowledge expertise in a nationally significant simulation precinct,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.

“The $70 million investment committed into our green hydrogen industry positions as the national leader in that space, with the funding going directly toward projects including common user infrastructure planning, pilot production facility in the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct and wastewater treatment plant upgrade to facilitate the use of recycled water.”

Townsville green hydrogen is proposed to be exported and utilised as a green energy source for industry nationally and globally.

Locally, Townsville-based companies will be signing off take agreements for NQ green hydrogen allowing the region to progress to viable production.

The Australian Government’s commitment to provide common-user infrastructure will contribute to establishing a hydrogen cluster in the region. This will create more than 7,200 construction jobs and more than 2,400 ongoing positions.

While large industry investment has been a winner, for Chamber of Commerce president Chris Rockemer, policy commitments ensuring local businesses can take advantage of major projects is a critical component in regional communities getting the full economic benefit from these announcements.

“Creating a framework that rewards and encourages local procurement and involvement will see the multiplier effect grow and retain local talent and skills. This is critical in ensuring Townsville remains the largest city in northern Australia,” Mr Rockemer said.

City leaders keen for action on commitments to grow Townsville and northern Australia
Caption: City leaders keen for action on commitments to grow Townsville and northern Australia