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Key Industries

Key Industries

Townsville North Queensland offers a diverse, resilient and prosperous economic base, poised for further growth. Australia’s most populous northern City, Townsville is considered the Capital of Northern Australia.


Townsville North Queensland has a booming agricultural sector and is recognised as one of Australia’s most diverse production areas. The Burdekin and Hinchinbrook is Australia’s largest sugar cane producing region, with over 80,000 hectares of land dedicated to this crop and cane yields among the highest in the nation. Additionally, the Burdekin harvests one-third of the nation’s mangoes and also produces capsicums, zucchinis, pumpkins, corn, melons and an array of other fruit and vegetables. Charters Towers to the west of Townsville is recognised for its quality beef industry.

Mining and Resources

Townsville North Queensland is a major metals refining base as well as services and export hub for the North West Minerals Province.  The region is at the epicentre of Australia’s critical minerals boom with billions of dollars worth of mining, construction and infrastructure projects either underway or proposed for the region. The CopperString project will unlock Australia's largest renewable energy zone and more and support the development of  new critical minerals projects in North West Queensland. Two major mineral processing plants operate within the region with a further two new metals refineries proposed for development. The Port of Townsville Queensland’s largest exporter or base metals and the third largest multi-cargo export port.  The Port is a strong partner to many industries in North Queensland facilitating millions of tonnes in trade from our mining and agricultural sectors every year. 

Marine Science

Townsville North Queensland offers access to world class experts and research centres within the marine science field. With the Great Barrier Reef on Townsville’s doorstep, it is home to the headquarters of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and James Cook University (world renowned in marine sciences). The combination of these organisations work to build capabilities in marine biodiversity and protect, conserve and develop the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. 

The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. Visitors to the region are encouraged to visit the Great Barrier Reef with a number of operators providing options to enjoy and learn about the world's largest coral reef system. The Townsville Convention Bureau can coordinate field trips and speakers from leading organisations. 


With two internationally renowned universities, James Cook University (JCU) and Central Queensland University (CQU) and two TAFE campuses, education is a large industry for Townsville North Queensland. James Cook University is number one in the world for marine and freshwater biology and in the top 2% of universities in the world with over 21,972 students from 108 countries. JCU’s main campus is based in Townsville with additional campuses in Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore.

Central Queensland University currently has over 1000 students studying on campus or via distance education. The campus boasts state of the art nursing and paramedic science labs and teaching spaces.

TAFE Queensland North provides further education and training in Queensland and Townsville is also home to Tec-NQ, a registered training organisation and independent senior secondary school. Future projects include a $12.5 M Hydrogen and Renewable Training Facility at TAFE Queensland's Townsville Trade Training Centre at the Bohle Campus. 

There are 81 primary schools, 15 secondary, 8 (P-10), 3 special and 2 schools of distance education. There are over 35,000 students enrolled in the region supported by over 3,000 teachers.

Hydrogen and Innovation

North Queensland is ideally placed to develop a hydrogen industry for both domestic and international use.  The region boasts the best renewable energy resources in the country combined with large water storages and ready access to major export ports.  North Queensland is  geographically close to North Asian export markets providing a regional advantage.

With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, several established renewable energy developments and regional partners that are progressing technology and capabilities in low and zero emission energy, an established regional hydrogen consortium, NQH2, has brought together companies and institutions to build, collaborate and grow the hydrogen industry in North Queensland. 

The NQH2 Consortium is made up of producers,  supply chain providers, regional SMEs, and off take customers to establish a hydrogen production industry in North Queensland NQH2 boasts multi-national companies including Ark Energy (subsidiary of Korea Zinc)  Origin Energy and its partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries who have  secured major off take agreements within the Korean and Japanese Market to export hydrogen– something that sets our region apart from others.

Health and Sports Medicine

The Townsville University Hospital (TUH) is the largest tertiary and training hospital in Northern Australia.  TUH specialises in cardiac, obstetric, gynaecological, paediatric, neurosurgical, orthopaedic, cancer, mental health, neonatal, allied health, anaesthetic and intensive care services. TUH also acts as a hub for health research for the region. With a state-of-the-art, dedicated research space and close geographical links to James Cook University, the hospital is on the cutting edge of tropical medicine research with clinical trial partnerships both onsite and via tele health. TUH runs one of Australia’s largest and busiest emergency departments, which is consistently ranked among the top-performing departments among major tertiary hospitals in Australia. Mater Private Hospital provides medical excellence and specialist services, backed by a commitment to patient-centred care in the Mercy Tradition. 

Townsville is also home to two national sporting teams, the North Queensland Cowboys Rugby League team  and the Townsville Fire Womens National Basketball League (WNBL) Team.  The region boasts world class sporting and stadia facilities. Given this strong sporting scene, the city boasts a significant number of sports services including physios, chiropractors and sports scientists. The region is also well known for its ability to provide the latest in sports technology and equipment such as antigravity treadmills and heat training facilities. Additional resources and sporting services are also available through the cities two universities–James Cook University and Central Queensland University.

The Cowboys Centre of Excellence provides high-performance training facilities with an indoor multi-use synthetic turf training field which is convertible to a hard-court sports floor, a basketball court and gym overlooking the main training field. There are also three swimming pools, a heat and altitude chamber, sleep room, medical sports consulting and sports rehabilitation services.


Townsville is Australia’s leading garrison city. Townsville North Queensland is home to Lavarack Barracks, Australia’s largest Army base as well as  RAAF Base Townsville. Townsville’s vision is to be the leader in allied forces training and Army home base of choice. With several projects and strong strategies in place, Townsville continues to lead the defence training space. The North Queensland Simulation Park (NQ Spark) will be northern Australia’s first collaborative industry hub focused on developing defence soldier simulation capability. The project will bring together the regional science, defence, health and knowledge expertise in Townsville to create an advanced environmental simulation facility and technology-orientated collaborative precinct. NQ Spark is being developed under the TropiQ partnership with support from Townsville City Council, James Cook University, Townsville Hospital and Health Service and Queensland Government.

CopperString 2032

The CopperString 2032 project is a 1,100 km high-voltage electricity transmission line from Townsville to Mount Isa that will connect Queensland’s North West Minerals Province (NWMP) to the national electricity grid. The $5 billion expanded project will include a 500-kilovolt (kV) line from Townsville to Hughenden to connect the NWMP to the North Queensland Renewable Energy Zone (NQREZ), the largest renewable energy zone in the nation. CopperString 2032 is the largest ever economic development project in North Queensland, and the largest expansion to the power grid in Australia. The North West Minerals Province contains one of the world’s richest deposits of critical minerals worth an estimated $500 billion. Critical minerals are the essential components for production of emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, renewable energy products and storage and low-emission power sources.

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+61 7 4726 2728

151 Sturt Street, Townsville Q 4814

PO Box 1043
Townsville, QLD, 4810

In the spirit of reconciliation, Townsville Enterprise and Townsville North Queensland acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout our region and Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Townsville Enterprise a not-for-profit organisation and is the official Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) and economic development body of the Townsville North Queensland region, extending from the Burdekin to the Hinchinbrook, west to Charters Towers, and including the central section of the Great Barrier Reef and its island communities of Magnetic Island and the Palm Island group.