Charles Darwin University (CDU) is working with Larrakia Nation to restore place names and revitalise language across its campuses in the Northern Territory.

Reclaiming Indigenous place names in the Territory

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is working with Larrakia Nation to restore place names and revitalise language across its campuses in the Northern Territory.
Charles Darwin University (CDU) is working with Larrakia Nation to restore place names and revitalise language across its campuses in the Northern Territory.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) is working with Larrakia Nation to restore place names and revitalise language across its campuses in the Northern Territory.

As a part of the process, CDU will co-name all new buildings and facilities with place names working with Aboriginal leaders to ensure they are written with the correct grammatical structure, concepts and vocabulary.

In partnership with Larrakia Nation, CDU will name its Education and Community Precinct, Danala the name for dillybag which represents a place to house knowledge.

The new Education and Community Precinct, or Danala, is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal – a 10-year partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin to drive a more vibrant and liveable tropical capital city.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said it was important that its buildings across its campuses incorporated the naming practises of First Nations people in the Territory.

“Greater integration between place-naming and Aboriginal culture and languages can help all Territorians be better connected to the land they are living in,” Professor Bowman said.

“During the last centuries Indigenous lands were remapped and renamed by colonial powers across Australia, so it’s incredibly important that we restore place names to First Nations people in the Territory.

Larrakia Elder-in-Residence Bilawara Lee (Aunty B) said the new CDU campus building was named in consultation with Larrakia Nation.

“Charles Darwin University, students and staff of the university will weave a strong spiritual danala, a dilly-bag where they will carry knowledge and tools as they travel along a successful and fulfilling career,” Aunty B said.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership Reuben Bolt said naming buildings in Indigenous language was the start of offering more inclusion in education for First Nations people in the Territory.

“We’re making a commitment to name the Territory’s university campuses, facilities and buildings with Indigenous place names,” Professor Bolt said.

“This is a start to encourage and facilitate more inclusion of Aboriginal people, language and custom in place-naming throughout the Territory and in the education sector.”

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the precinct’s new name, Danala, is a fitting description for a place that will bring students, visitors, academics and other community members together to learn and grow.

“The infrastructure we are delivering today will play a key role in the Territory of tomorrow – in its social, cultural and economic futures – making it important to ensure greater inclusion of First Nations people, language and customs in place-naming,” Minister King said.

NT Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Minister Paul Kirby said the naming of the Charles Darwin University’s CDU Campus as ‘Danala’ is a great initiative to help keep traditional language alive in the Northern Territory.

“As the new name suggests, the campus will certainly be a place to house knowledge, where students from near and far will gain the skills and education they need to thrive,” Minister Kirby said.

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling said this is a fantastic milestone for Darwin’s largest construction project, which will position us as a future centre of educational excellence.

“Danala will attract students from all over the country and the world to Darwin, where they will learn so much more than what’s in their chosen qualifications – and that includes the rich First Nations cultures and languages,” Mr Gosling said.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.

Charles Darwin University city campus reaches new heights

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.

Territorians are celebrating the rapid developments taking place on the Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) city campus build – the largest construction project underway in Darwin’s CBD, and one that will transform the city for decades to come.

At an event held today, CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.

More than 8,216m3 of concrete and 86,450 hours of on-site labour have gone into the build across the project’s lifetime so far, with four floors now complete.

Concrete slabs have been poured for both basements and the first two levels, with formwork including lift cores and stairwells progressing to level three and scaffolding reaching level four. Both tower cranes and the concrete tower pump are now in operation.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the Education and Community Precinct was the largest construction project in Darwin that was supporting jobs and the Territory’s economy. 

“This project has come a long way in a short period of time, we’re thrilled with how rapidly the project team are progressing works on site,” Professor Bowman said.

“The entire CDU community cannot wait to move into the building, which we know will be a major drawcard for international students, but also a vibrant community hub for the people of the Territory that will make our city an education city and more liveable.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the CDU Campus and new Education and Community Precinct will transform Darwin – bringing students, visitors, academics and workers alike.

“Already well positioned as the gateway to Asia, this project will turn Darwin into an educational and economic powerhouse on the international stage, a place to build networks, collaborate and connect – a sophisticated cultural centre and a thriving world city for the benefit of locals and the national economy alike,” Minister King said.

NT Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby said the construction of the precinct would support the development and liveability of Darwin as the capital of Northern Australia.

“As the structure of the precinct begins to take its place in the Darwin City skyline, we are seeing the delivery of a new modern learning environment that will enhance Charles Darwin University’s attractiveness as a study institution of choice,” Minister Kirby said.

“The precinct will provide spaces for the broader community to enjoy, spreading activity to more areas of the Central Business District.”

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling saidthe new campus and precinct will position Darwin as a future centre of educational excellence, attracting students from all over the country and the world, to live, work and study in Australia’s north.

“It is estimated that the new campus will increase economic output in the NT by more than $250 million over the next fifteen years, with significant flow-on effects for the whole region,” Mr Gosling said.

Ongoing works to complete the nine-level structure include installation of the external façade, the building’s fit out and landscaping works, expected to be completed in early 2024.

The Education and Community Precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal – the partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin to invest in transformational projects that make more liveable, sustainable and connected cities.

Once complete, the new city campus will be a significant driver of economic, social and cultural opportunities for Darwin, and the whole of Northern Australia, cementing the community’s future capacity to thrive, grow and prosper.

Charles Darwin University is inviting submissions for purpose-built student accommodation in the Darwin CBD.

EOI opens for new student accommodation to be developed in Darwin CBD

Charles Darwin University is inviting submissions for purpose-built student accommodation in the Darwin CBD.
Charles Darwin University is inviting submissions for purpose-built student accommodation in the Darwin CBD.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for organisations wishing to tender on the design, development, and operation of new student accommodation in the Darwin CBD.

CDU is inviting submissions for purpose-built student accommodation, or the provision of student accommodation from suitable existing or redeveloped buildings in Darwin.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the new Education and Community Precinct in Cavenagh Street, which is due to be completed in 2024, will attract additional international and domestic students, who need suitable accommodation. 

“CDU is looking to expand its current student accommodation options over the coming years to better cater to the needs of the student community in the Territory,” Professor Bowman said.

Professor Bowman said some of the projected demand could be met through developing and operating facilities on the site of the new CBD campus, but additional capacity will also be required by developing new facilities on private land or leasing rooms in existing or re-purposed facilities.

“We know that many students have struggled to find suitable accommodation options close to the city and the university,” he said. 

“As we see student numbers increase, particularly from international and domestic students, demand for student accommodation will only continue, and we don’t want that to be a barrier to study.

“Arriving in Australia as an international student can be incredibly daunting for many students, so this is about supporting students with that transition and ensuring they have adequate housing to succeed while they are at university.”

It is estimated that around 1,200 students are currently living in private accommodation in Darwin, with the projected demand for additional student accommodation to cater for the growth in international students estimated to be between 250 and 300 beds in 2025, increasing by a further 120 by 2028.

CDU is also looking to better support its international student community by offering additional accommodation options to support students to find suitable accommodation. CDU will also be looking at expanding student accommodation options in Alice Springs.

Interested organisations are asked to register their interest with Tenderlink at tenderlink.com/cdu

Slab progress

CDU city campus progress calls for a cheeky slab

Slab progress
A major milestone for the construction of Charles Darwin University (CDU)’s education and community precinct is set to be achieved.

Construction of Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new $250 million education and community precinct is on track to achieve a major milestone before the wet season, with the pouring of the basement slab nearing completion.

The project in Darwin’s CBD is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal and is a partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and Charles Darwin University (CDU).

Territory company Halikos was recently awarded the contract for the construction and fit-out of the main building and the landscaping of the public areas.

Pouring of the 2,700 cubic metre slab, which forms the base of the two-level underground carpark, has been undertaken in 12 sections and began in October 2021. The sealing of the bottom of the excavation with the pouring of the slab reduces the risk presented by the upcoming wet season.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the project will help diversify the local economy and elevate Darwin’s competitiveness in the international education sector.

“The new Charles Darwin University precinct is the centrepiece of the $320 million Darwin City Deal which is a 10-year plan to position Darwin as a vibrant and liveable tropical city with a diversified economy,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Once complete, this project will have created more than 700 jobs, helped to diversify the local economy and enhanced the culture and vibrancy of the city for future generations.”

Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, said the project was providing a boost to the local economy.

“The slab, and the foundations below it, have involved approximately 388 mixer loads of concrete and 450 tonnes of steel reinforcement – all put in place by Territory businesses,” Minister Kirby said.

“This project will do two things – help define the Territory as a destination for quality training and education, and provide a world-class facility further beautifying our City.”

Federal Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, said it was great to see Halikos expanding its staffing levels and actively seeking construction workers to deliver the project.

“This important infrastructure project is creating jobs now to keep our economy going through difficult times,” Dr McMahon said.

“The scale of this project will create jobs in a diverse range of local businesses right through to early 2024.”

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, said it was fantastic to see such a major milestone of the project completed.

“The project has come a long way in a short period of time and full credit to Halikos and its subcontractors for the progress made,” Professor Bowman said.

“Once complete, the iconic main building will establish Darwin as a university city and CDU as the University of Northern Australia.”

The new precinct will provide a modern city campus for CDU, a new purpose-built home for the Northern Territory Library and more than 230 underground car parks. 

For further information about the Education and Community Precinct, visit educationcommunityprecinct.cdu.edu.au. The Darwin City Deal Implementation Plan can be viewed at infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin.  

CDU has appointed NT construction company Halikos as the builder of the $250m Education and Community Precinct in Darwin's CBD.

Contract awarded for construction of CDU city campus

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.

Territorians are celebrating the rapid developments taking place on the Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) city campus build – the largest construction project underway in Darwin’s CBD, and one that will transform the city for decades to come.

At an event held today, CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman joined the Federal Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP and Northern Territory Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby to survey progress on the $250 million Education and Community Precinct.

More than 8,216m3 of concrete and 86,450 hours of on-site labour have gone into the build across the project’s lifetime so far, with four floors now complete.

Concrete slabs have been poured for both basements and the first two levels, with formwork including lift cores and stairwells progressing to level three and scaffolding reaching level four. Both tower cranes and the concrete tower pump are now in operation.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the Education and Community Precinct was the largest construction project in Darwin that was supporting jobs and the Territory’s economy. 

“This project has come a long way in a short period of time, we’re thrilled with how rapidly the project team are progressing works on site,” Professor Bowman said.

“The entire CDU community cannot wait to move into the building, which we know will be a major drawcard for international students, but also a vibrant community hub for the people of the Territory that will make our city an education city and more liveable.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said theCDU Campus and new Education and Community Precinct will transform Darwin – bringing students, visitors, academics and workers alike.

“Already well positioned as the gateway to Asia, this project will turn Darwin into an educational and economic powerhouse on the international stage, a place to build networks, collaborate and connect – a sophisticated cultural centre and a thriving world city for the benefit of locals and the national economy alike,” Minister King said.

NT Minister for Business, Jobs and Training Paul Kirby said the construction of the precinct would support the development and liveability of Darwin as the capital of Northern Australia.

“As the structure of the precinct begins to take its place in the Darwin City skyline, we are seeing the delivery of a new modern learning environment that will enhance Charles Darwin University’s attractiveness as a study institution of choice,” Minister Kirby said.

“The precinct will provide spaces for the broader community to enjoy, spreading activity to more areas of the Central Business District.”

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling saidthe new campus and precinct will position Darwin as a future centre of educational excellence, attracting students from all over the country and the world, to live, work and study in Australia’s north.

“It is estimated that the new campus will increase economic output in the NT by more than $250 million over the next fifteen years, with significant flow-on effects for the whole region,” Mr Gosling said.

Ongoing works to complete the nine-level structure include installation of the external façade, the building’s fit out and landscaping works, expected to be completed in early 2024.

The Education and Community Precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal – the partnership between the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin to invest in transformational projects that make more liveable, sustainable and connected cities.

Once complete, the new city campus will be a significant driver of economic, social and cultural opportunities for Darwin, and the whole of Northern Australia, cementing the community’s future capacity to thrive, grow and prosper.

Footings for the Education and Community Precinct under construction.

New CDU precinct reaches NAIF funding milestone

Footings for the Education and Community Precinct under construction.
Footings for the Education and Community Precinct under construction.

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is pleased to confirm its loan to fund the construction of Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new Education and Community Precinct.

Delivered under the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), the funding will help make the new $250 million precinct a reality sooner for Darwin.

The loan funding is in addition to the $97.3 million commitment by the Government towards the project, which has already secured the development approvals needed for construction to start, meaning shovels can hit dirt on the project this year.

Minister for Northern Australia David Littleproud said this project will proceed with thanks to the NAIF loan.

“Now there will be jobs coming to Darwin with all the follow on to local economy,” Minister Littleproud said.

“At the end of the day, there will be a first-class education facility that will attract the best and brightest, for research and development for business and industry in Darwin.

“This is exactly the type of transformational project the NAIF is backing right across the north, with $3.1 billion already committed to 26 projects.

“Not only will these projects increase local amenity and opportunities for communities, they are expected to inject $15 billion into the economy and create more than 10,000 construction and ongoing jobs – providing a boost to northern Australia and its economy.”

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the new precinct is a significant infrastructure project that will help create jobs and support local businesses.

“The new CDU precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal, which is helping to position Darwin as a vibrant and liveable tropical city with a strong and diversified economy,” Minister Fletcher said.

“This precinct will deliver state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, an art gallery and library that will transform the Territory’s education sector and open up opportunities for the broader community.”

Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said the precinct will be a lasting legacy that brings in more students and professionals while encouraging new investments, local business and more activity in the Territory’s capital.

“I look forward to seeing shovels hit the ground in the coming months, with construction expected to create 730 much-needed jobs and the project to inject $600 million back into the Territory economy,” Dr McMahon said.

Special Envoy for Northern Australia Senator Susan McDonald said the NAIF loan is another milestone for northern Australia development.

“CDU is helping to grow our own talent and drive a stronger, more diversified northern Australia economy,” Senator McDonald.

Construction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, with CDU able to draw on the loan funds to support construction milestones.

The final design of the Education and Community Precinct was released late August 2021, and can be viewed at: educationcommunityprecinct.cdu.edu.au.

NAIF has made financing commitments of $3.1 billion to projects in northern Australia. These projects are forecast to generate more than $15 billion in economic impact and support more than 10,000 jobs (during construction and operations).

In the Northern Territory, NAIF has approved $711 million of financing to projects, which are forecast to support more than 3,000 jobs.

NAIF CEO Chris Wade said: “NAIF has worked closely with CDU over a number of years and we are delighted that our investment has now closed and can be drawn as required. The new precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal which will provide a modern city campus and support future jobs, education, new investment and future research.”

“It is great to see the progress already made on site to date and we look forward to seeing the campus rise from the ground in the coming months.”

Education and Communirt Presinct Design

Final designs for new CDU precinct unveiled

Final designs for Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new Education and Community Precinct
Final designs for Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new Education and Community Precinct

Final designs for Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new Education and Community Precinct have been unveiled with final approvals now in place and construction set to start.

The $250 million project is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal and is a partnership of the Australian and Northern Territory governments and Charles Darwin University.

The project received conditional development approval in July last year and has now received the green light to proceed to construction.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the new precinct would provide a modern city campus for CDU, and a new purpose-built home for the Northern Territory Library and event spaces.

“This is a significant project for Darwin and the centrepiece of the $320 million Darwin City Deal, which is a 10-year plan to position Darwin as a vibrant and liveable tropical city with a diversified economy,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The Morrison Government has committed $97.3 million towards the new campus, which will include state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, an art gallery and library that will be enjoyed by the local community and help boost Darwin’s competitiveness in the international education sector.”

The design features a striking facade designed to provide the best solar access to the heritage-listed Boab Tree on site, green wall elements and will host Northern Territory and CDU Libraries and the university’s Art Gallery.

The Boab Tree is the focal point of the design, creating a new public gathering space for the people of Darwin. The design caters to the Boab, with a sloping façade to ensure the tree is not overshadowed and gets enough sunlight, supporting the continued long life of this special city landmark.

The façade design by the Precinct’s architects, MODE, features a variety of landscaped terraces and sunshades as well as an old Darwin favourite – louvres – to best manage the heat load. These features manage the reflection off the building while maximising light and views inside.

Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, said the Precinct will benefit local businesses and tradies while creating a more vibrant city centre.

“This Precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal and forecast to inject $600 million into our economy, with the construction phase delivering 730 jobs,” Minister Kirby said.

“We want to boost the number of visitors coming into our CBD and this Precinct will also offer innovative learning areas, 232 underground car parking spaces, landscaped green space and the ability to support pop up community activities such as food trucks and events.”

Federal Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, said the new education and community precinct will attract students and business to the city centre.

“The precinct will integrate education and community facilities, as well as commercial and public spaces,” Senator McMahon said.

“Halikos has had workers on site since the start of the week in order to get as much work completed to avoid any further delays due to the wet season. As a result of this construction and other Federal Government work, Halikos is also now looking to expand its current staffing levels and is actively seeking more construction workers. This type of project creates jobs to keep our economy going in these times.”

The project team took the public feedback on the original design on board and spent many hours refining the design and addressing issues ranging from stormwater runoff to the aesthetics of the façade.

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman, said the new campus would help cement Darwin as Northern Australia’s centre of education.

“This new campus will be the jewel in the revitalised Education and Community Precinct – supporting future jobs, education, new investment and future research,” Professor Bowman said.

“Being at the centre of this new precinct will help Charles Darwin University train and educate more Territorians – helping them get the skills and experiences they need to thrive in their local communities.”

The project team has collaborated with Darwin City Deal’s CSIRO Darwin Living Lab, another Darwin City Deal initiative, to make the building as energy efficient as possible and to ensure it is liveable and resilient in the face of Darwin’s hot climate.

National and international sustainability rating systems have been used by the design team for benchmarking to inform the selection of sustainability initiatives for the project.

Once complete at the end of 2023, the Precinct will house CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts, IT teaching, the university’s International College and Art Gallery.

The final design of the Education and Community Precinct can be viewed at: educationcommunityprecinct.cdu.edu.au.

The Darwin City Deal Implementation Plan can be viewed at: infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin.

Darwin arborist Bill Sullivan has been tasked with the development of a Tree Protection Plan for the Boab tree together with 21 Bismarckia Palms on the site boundary.

Bright future for historic Boab tree

Darwin arborist Bill Sullivan has been tasked with the development of a Tree Protection Plan for the Boab tree together with 21 Bismarckia Palms on the site boundary.
Darwin arborist Bill Sullivan has been tasked with the development of a Tree Protection Plan for the Boab tree together with 21 Bismarckia Palms on the site boundary.

The historic Boab tree on the site of Charles Darwin University’s city campus will be protected and become a key feature of the new campus into the future.

The new precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal and will feature a new CBD campus for CDU, the Northern Territory Library and extensive greened public areas.

The heritage-listed and century old Boab tree, which is believed to have been planted in the 1880s and was a landmark of the original Darwin Primary School and Darwin Adult Education Centre that previously occupied the site.

The Boab tree, expected to be more than 140-years-old, is a tangible reminder of the history of education on the site that dates back to 1877 and the future learning and education services that will be provided to students on this site for years to come.

A protection zone around the Boab tree has been established around the tree and an expansive landscaped area will be created on the site to create the best environment for the Boab.

Darwin arborist Bill Sullivan has been tasked with the development of a Tree Protection Plan for the Boab tree together with 21 Bismarckia Palms on the site boundary.

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO said the university was proud to have the much-loved Boab tree on its grounds to be enjoyed by generations to come.

“We know how special this tree is to the Darwin community – that’s why we’re ensuring it’s front and centre in the next chapter of learning on this historic site,” Professor Bowman said.

“Excavation for the main building had been carefully considered around the tree to not disturb the root system,” Professor Bowman said.

“Upon arborist advice, we are going to build a raised wood deck around the tree to reduce soil compaction from foot traffic impacting the root system. This will make the tree a central feature of the new campus while also ensuring its ongoing health.”

Mr Sullivan said the preservation of the Boab tree would be an integral part of the development.

“Careful planning will be required at all stages of the project to ensure its historical and cultural values are preserved for future generations,” Mr Sullivan said.

Under the Tree Protection Plan, tree protection zones will be established on the site to eliminate the potential for damage to the trees by excavation and construction.

“Not only will the trees on the site be protected, but they also will now be cared for and regularly maintained,” Mr Sullivan said.

Irrigation, fertiliser and mulch will be used to maximise the health of the trees. If dust becomes an issue on the foliage, they will be hosed clean.

The construction phase of the project is expected to begin in the middle of the year and run until late 2023. The City Deal is a joint initiative of the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin.

Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, inspects the completed excavation for the Education and Community Precinct.

Excavation celebration – new CDU city campus reaches major milestone

Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, inspects the completed excavation for the Education and Community Precinct.
Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, inspects the completed excavation for the Education and Community Precinct.

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new city campus has reached a significant milestone this week with the excavation for the main Education and Community Precinct building completed ahead of schedule.

Carried out by Darwin business DTA Contractors, the excavation involved digging a 73-metre-wide and 71-metre-long hole to a depth of seven metres to accommodate a two-level basement carpark.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the new precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal.

“The new precinct is one of the most significant construction projects in Darwin for a long time, delivering state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, an art gallery and library that will open up remarkable opportunities for students and the broader community,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Territorians will continue to see new jobs and more cash flowing across local businesses as we continue to progress projects under the Darwin City Deal.”

Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, said the project is a major win for local jobs and the NT economy.

“The Education Precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal, with the construction phase delivering 730 jobs, and the precinct forecast to provide a $600million boost to our economy,” Minister Kirby said.

“It is also backing local business and keeping Territory tradies in jobs – and this is why this precinct is so important for the Territory’s economic comeback.

“We need to get more people into the heart of our city and position Darwin as a world-class spot to study, upskill and reskill.”

Senator for Northern Territory, Senator Dr Sam McMahon, said all on-site works have been delivered by Territory businesses so far, with excavation alone supporting the employment of 50 local workers.

“I am very pleased to see this exciting project for Darwin is already providing local job opportunities, which means much-needed employment and economic stimulus for the Territory at such a critical time in our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19,” Senator McMahon said.

“The progress already made is nothing short of spectacular and a sign of the transformational impacts this Deal is having, with excavation alone removing 37,170 cubic metres of soil from the site, which is the equivalent of more than 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, said being in the heart of the city means the university will become more accessible for the community and important stakeholders in government and business.

“Increasing engagement with the local community with a city campus is a priority for the university,” Professor Bowman said.

“So many of the Darwin community have or are attending CDU, and it is a lot easier to keep that bond with the local community if we are right in the middle of the city promoting our work and specialities.”

Detailed design of the project is being finalised, and CDU and consultant partners are working together to meet the conditions of its development approval.

The construction phase of the project is expected to begin in the middle of the year and run until late 2023.

Once complete, the Precinct will house CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, IT teaching, the university’s International College and Art Gallery.

For more information on the Darwin City Deal visit: infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher

Darwin City Deal continues to revitalise city

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher inspects work on the Education and Community Precinct.

The Darwin City Deal, an historic agreement between three levels of government, remains on track to transform Darwin into a more vibrant and liveable tropical city.

Launching the Annual Progress Report in Darwin, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the report highlights how the City Deal is delivering jobs and boosting the economy at a critical period in the Territory’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The centrepiece of the Deal, the $250 million Charles Darwin University’s Education and Community Precinct, started construction in October 2020 and is on track to transform the city centre,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Construction is providing crucial stimulus and jobs, with 730 jobs expected to be created over the next four years.

“All levels of government are working closely together as we mark the second anniversary of the Deal and there’s no doubt this investment is helping Darwin become a more liveable and vibrant capital.”

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the Deal was a win-win for the Territory.

“The transformation will get more people into the guts of our city.

“On one hand, the projects mean more construction work for Territory tradies.

“On the other, the upgrades will drive more foot traffic into local businesses, which will keep the Territory economy ticking over.

“The new Education and Community Precinct will also help attract domestic and international students to the Top End, and it’s estimated they will bring around $600 million into the local economy over the next three decades,” NMr Gunner said

The City Deal is a joint initiative of the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the City of Darwin.

The Darwin City Deal 2020 Annual Progress Report is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/cities/city-deals/darwin