Hutchinson Builders 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.
LOAN AMOUNT UP TO
Length of Loan
Total Project Value
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.
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.
Traditional owners of this land
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
As of February 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 (include figures here), 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.
Halls of Residence (Burralga Yumba)
- James Cook University
The second NAIF loan helped develop new Halls of Residence on the JCU Townsville Campus. The project consisted of a seven-storey facility to house 425 students.
Engineering & Innovation Place
- James Cook University
James Cook University is being transformed with over $140 million in NAIF funding for the Engineering & Innovation Place and Halls of Residence projects.