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$20 million loan secured for North Queensland Cowboys high-performance centre

$20 million loan secured for North Queensland Cowboys high-performance centre
August 12, 2020

A $20 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) concessional loan is ready to reach financial close – delivering funds to the North Queensland Cowboys NRL Club for a new training and high-performance centre in Townsville.

Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt noted the Townsville club could draw on the funds from next week and added “the new Community, Training and High-Performance Centre will ensure the Cowboys and other sports clubs in North Queensland will have access to the best possible facilities to help build on their sporting success.”

The centre is being built next to the Cowboys’ home stadium in Townsville. When completed in early 2021, it will include community areas, multi-sport high-performance training spaces, as well as sports medicine and sports science labs.

Minister Pitt advised that the NAIF finance meant the Cowboys and Townsville community would have world-class training and sports-medicine facilities which would attract athletes, teams and researchers to Australia’s tropical north.

Other athletes and sporting teams will also have access to the Centre, including the Townsville Fire Women’s National Basketball League team and touring sporting teams.

Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the project was already delivering fantastic results for the Townsville economy advising “I had the opportunity to tour the Community and High Performance Centre construction site just a couple of weeks ago and to see the number of workers really reinforced that this project is creating jobs at a time we need them most.

“It’s great that the NAIF loan, in conjunction with the federal government grant, has been able to help this plan come to fruition.”

James Cook University in Townsville will be a tenant in the Centre, where the university will operate a sports science and research facility.

Medical sports consulting and sports rehabilitation services will also be provided at the Centre, while the Townsville City Council will be able to host events for the public at the community field.

NAIF has so far approved loans worth $2.1 billion to a range of infrastructure projects across northern Australia with another $300 million of new projects under consideration for the near future.

In Queensland, the total NAIF Investment is valued at more than $900 million, with five projects directly in Townsville valued at over $230 million.

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NAIF Key Facts as provided by the Federal Government 

  • The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is a $5 billion lending facility to provide loans to infrastructure projects in northern Australia:
  • NAIF investments can be used for the development of new infrastructure or materially enhancing existing infrastructure
  • NAIF can lend up to 100% of the debt, providing there is appropriate risk sharing
  • The project must have public benefit and have an Indigenous Engagement Strategy. This would usually be projects which will be able to service multiple users
  • Loans can be on concessional terms (relative to what a private sector financier can deliver), as long as the infrastructure generates public benefit and there is an ability to repay or refinance
  • NAIF has a higher tolerance for the unique risks of investing in northern Australia including but not limited to, distance, remoteness and climate
  • NAIF can look at projects across northern Australia (see map below) including the Northern Territory, and those parts of Queensland and Western Australia above the Tropic of Capricorn. As well as the regional centres of Gladstone, the Gladstone Hinterland, Carnarvon and Exmouth, as well as the Local Government Areas of Meekatharra and Wiluna in Western Australia
  • Importantly projects financed by the NAIF do not need to be entirely within these boundaries if they produce significant benefits to northern Australia
  • Investment Decisions are made by an independent Board who are supported by an experienced team of infrastructure financiers who work with proponents and other lenders to commercial timelines

Related Articles

15th November 2019 - NRL’s Cowboys plan for North Queensland training and high performance facility move forward

27th September 2018 - North Queensland Cowboys announce executive changes following chief executive’s departure

7th February 2018 - North Queensland Cowboys a key part of jobs initiative

23rd October 2014 - North Queensland Cowboys memberships donated to Townsville volunteers

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