Delivering defence industry innovation in North Queensland

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Media contact

(02) 6277 7840

General enquiries

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Assistant Minister for the Republic

Media contact

Ben Leeson on 0404 648 275

The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP

Acting Minister for Defence

Minister for Skills and Training

Release content

6 July 2023

The Albanese Government has signed an agreement with NQ Spark Pty Ltd, paving the way for work to begin on northern Australia’s first collaborative defence industry hub.

North Queensland Simulation Park (NQ Spark) will be a newly developed simulation facility in Townsville, and is supported by the Townsville City Council, the Queensland Government and James Cook University.

The $32.2 million agreement will deliver a cutting-edge collaborative precinct providing simulation training opportunities for regional science and the defence, emergency response, health and knowledge sectors in Townsville to help support research and development.

This agreement delivers on an election commitment of the Albanese Government and will provide economic and employment opportunities for northern Queensland, while investing in the future of Defence in Australia.  

The Department of Defence will work closely with NQ Spark throughout the planning and development stages to support the successful delivery of the facility.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Defence, Brendan O’Connor:

“The NQ Spark facility will deliver world-class simulation training and opportunities to north Queensland.”

“This investment, led by defence industry in Townsville, means more jobs and more opportunities for the local community.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“Development of the NQ Spark facility is expected to generate up to 800 jobs and inject over $200 million into the local economy, which is a significant boost for the north Queensland community.

“This is a unique integration of industry sectors such as health, emergency services and universities, with flow-on social and economic benefits to the broader community. This facility will bring these sectors together through defence industry, to deliver world class simulation training.

“NQ Spark can set the benchmark for similar initiatives across the country.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite:

“This first of its kind development will support jobs and the economy in Townsville and northern Queensland, and serve as a potential pathway to future employment for our veteran community and local Indigenous companies.”

Other related releases