Student accommodation at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville will be significantly increased, along with local job and economic opportunities, with the construction of a new residence backed by a $46 million Australian Government loan through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
This project is an important step in the development of the university and the city of Townsville.
Public benefit from the residence is estimated to be $140.2 million over 30 years.
Local people will benefit from this development, not only in the work created but through opportunities to live and study on campus.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the seven storey student residence would be built on the JCU’s Douglas campus, with the university contributing about $7 million towards the $53 million project.
“NAIF is designed to help build up the infrastructure and economy of Northern Australia and improve the lives of those who live there, and this project will do that. I am very pleased to announce this loan on behalf of the Liberals and Nationals Government,” Minister Pitt said.
“The residence will benefit not only students and the university, but will have flow on economic benefits for the wider community.
“Economic activity generated by the project is forecast to create 348 jobs during construction and generate 221 jobs in its operational phase.”
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the residence would contribute to the attractiveness of the university as a student destination.
“JCU is an internationally respected institution with a strong demand for residential places at the Townsville campus. This new purpose built 10,000m2 student accommodation site at JCU will provide much needed accommodation for about 425 students.”
“This will be a fantastic development for North Queensland with the building expected to open in January 2022,” Assistant Minister Landry said.
The Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the residence demonstrated the importance of Townsville as an educational centre.
“Developments like this are a vote of confidence in Townsville’s higher education future and provide a range of benefits to the city,” Mr Thompson said.
“We can look forward to generations of students making use of this residence.
“This is the second NAIF project put forward by JCU, following approval of a $98 million loan for its new Technology Innovation complex in mid-2018.
“Financial backing from the NAIF is building the education infrastructure we need to keep the North growing and attract skilled professionals to the region,” Mr Thompson said.
The Australian Government is committed to working with the Townsville community and the City Deal, signed in 2016, aims to to develop Townsville’s global reputation as a world-class destination for education, edu-tourism, training and research.
JCU will build the student accommodation within the TropiQ precinct, the health and knowledge precinct established under the Townsville City Deal.
NAIF has to date announced support for 18 infrastructure projects across Northern Australia, via Investment Decisions or Conditional Approval, with loans worth $1.98bn.