NQ COWBOYS

Community, Training and High-Performance Centre

With NAIF’s $20 million loan, the North Queensland Cowboys Community, Training and High-Performance Centre in Townsville is not only helping retain and attract sporting talent but is also stimulating business and social activity in the city.

Investment Decision

November 2019

Sector

Social Infrastructure

Location

Townsville, Queensland

NQ Cowboys Hutchinson Builders Centre Front View Of Exterior With Indigenous Snake Artwork On Glass And Cowboys Logo With Grass In The Foreground on Hutchinson Builders Centre

LOAN DETAILS

LOAN AMOUNT UP TO

$20m

Length of Loan

15 years

Total Project Value

$35m

Public Benefit

Public Benefit

$202.1m

Forecast Jobs

271

Project Status

Operational

Project Overview

NAIF’s loan supported the building of the Cowboys Community, Training and High-Performance Centre, known as The Hutchinson Builders Centre. The facility is providing a wide range of benefits to the North Queensland community, including:

  • James Cook University’s Performance Science Hub - a state-of-the-art physiology laboratory with performance analytics capabilities. This sports science and research facility not only boosts athlete performance but strengthens the university’s academic offering. Medical sports consulting and rehabilitation services will also be provided at the centre.
  • Multi-sport, high-performance training spaces for the Cowboys and other clubs, including the Townsville Fire Women’s National Basketball League Club (the only professional women’s sports club in northern Australia). With its full-sized training field, the centre will also be available to other clubs and is expected to attract touring sports teams to Townsville.

Community spaces that Townsville City Council is able to provide for general purposes. Construction of the facility is now complete.

How We Helped

NAIF's $20 million loan was a key component of the business plan to construct the North Queensland Cowboys' Community, Training, and High-Performance Centre in Townsville. The Centre is instrumental in retaining and attracting sporting talent while also stimulating increased business and social activity within the region.

Public Impact

With its combination of community areas, training spaces, administrative offices, sports medicine facilities and science labs, the centre is a long-term asset to the region.

Independent analysis forecasts that the infrastructure funded by the NAIF loan will generate approximately $202 million in economic benefits for the region over the next 30 years.

The project was expected to create 213 jobs during construction and 58 operational jobs.

Related Links

Indigenous Engagement

Traditional owners of this land

  • Wulgurukaba

The Wulgurukaba people are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the North Queensland Cowboys Community and High-Performance Training Centre is located. The Wulgurukaba people’s lands cover most of the urban core of the City of Townsville, north of the Ross River, and extend north towards the locality of Rollingstone. 

The Wulgurukaba people also inhabited nearby Magnetic Island and used canoes (Wulgurukaba means canoe people) to traverse the waters of Cleveland Bay. Wulgurukaba referred to their country around the City of Townsville as Gurambilbarra, while they referred to Magnetic Island as Yunbenun.

Indigenous Engagement Strategy Commitments

North Queensland Cowboys' Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES) comprises commitments in critical areas, including participation, employment, procurement, and community development. 
In terms of participation, there is a pledge to achieve an Indigenous participation target of 6.6% during the construction phase, encompassing both employment and procurement. Additionally, the Cowboys are committed to attaining an Indigenous employment target of 20% across all merchandise and hospitality outlets after construction. 

The Cowboys have also undertaken to establish an Indigenous Economic Participation Committee, consisting of Traditional Owners and key State and Commonwealth Indigenous employment and training agencies. This committee will provide valuable support and advice for the implementation of the IES. Furthermore, they are committed to creating a preferred Indigenous business supplier register and establishing two commercial relationships with Indigenous businesses. 

The Cowboys have made commitments to engage respectfully with the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners and to adhere to cultural protocols as part of their dedication to fostering positive relationships and cultural sensitivity within the community. 

Indigenous Engagement Strategy

Outcomes

As of October 2023, key outcomes delivered from North Queensland Cowboys’ IES to date include exceeding Indigenous employment and procurement targets during the construction phase of the project, and the incorporation of Wulgurukaba stories and knowledges into the design of the project. 
 
The story of Gabul, the carpet snake, is incorporated into the façade of the building. Gabul is the creator of the lands and waters in the region, and it recreates the story of how Gabul carved out the coastlines, rivers, ranges and islands of the region, before resting on and becoming a part of Magnetic Island. 
 
A 1.2-ton bronze canoe has been installed outside the entrance of the project, and this tells the story of how the Wulgurukaba people used canoes to travel around the waterways of the region, and specifically in this case, fishing mullet in the nearby Ross Creek. 
 
North Queensland Cowboys have established a Local Indigenous Advisory Committee which includes permanent representation from the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukbaba people, as well as other local Indigenous people and organisations from the Townsville region. The committee, as well as well other initiatives such the incorporation of a welcome to country at each Cowboys season home game, is helping to maintain a respectful and ongoing relationship with the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba people.