NAIF Darwin city deals

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility $150m secures Education Civic Precinct

NAIF Darwin city deals
From left: Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks, Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan and Chief Minister Michael Gunner announcing funding for CDU’s new CBD campus.

Charles Darwin University and the City of Darwin have welcomed the commitment from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility of a $150 million loan, which will enable the City Deal’s Education and Civic Precinct to progress.

The partners of the City Deal today inspected the site which will incorporate a new CDU city campus, a central city library (co-locating parts of existing libraries at CDU, COD and NTG) and a Darwin civic centre.  

The $150 million loan is in addition to $97 million already committed by the Commonwealth Government through the City Deals program.

“A $250 million development on this site is a game changer for the future of CDU and the Darwin CBD,” said CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks.

In partnership with COD and NTG a draft masterplan for the site, on the corner of Cavanagh Street and Garramilla Boulevard, has been developed.

The masterplan stipulates the precinct will be:

  • Iconic and vibrant
  • A world-class student experience
  • Green with innovative tropical architecture and cooling
  • Welcoming and connected at street level
  • Reflective of Larrakia Country and inclusive of diverse cultures.

At the heart of the precinct will stand the heritage-listed boab tree, which was planted in the late 1800s to provide shade in the first Darwin school yard. 

“The tree will provide a physical link to the long-standing use of the site as an education precinct,” Professor Maddocks said.

Every aspect of design of the new precinct must consider the boab, including heights of buildings, proximity of buildings and the underground car park. This will ensure the tree continues to receive maximum sunlight, water and drainage. 

Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said: “The City Deal partnership has provided a unique opportunity for all levels of government to work together to develop a project that will attract people to the city centre, support our local economy and establish Darwin as a place to live, learn and visit.”

“When the precinct is complete, people will drive up Garramilla Boulevard or walk along Cavanagh Street and when they see this precinct will think – ‘wow!’  It will be different from anything else in Darwin,” he said.

The precinct will take three years to complete, with expressions of interest currently open for detailed concept design.

“With modern, competitive infrastructure in the CBD we’re confident our international enrolments will grow by 500 students to 2500 by the time the city campus is open in February 2024,” Professor Maddocks said.

“By 2028 our projections show this number doubling to 5000 students – all living, studying, working and playing in the CBD.  The impact of this growth on the NT economy has been estimated at $250 million over 15 years,” he said.

To find out more, read the CDU Education and Civic Precinct factsheet.

EOI opens for CDU City Campus development

Vice Chancellor, Professor Simon Maddocks said contractors can now register for the tender panel for the construction of CDU’s City campus.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for organisations wishing to tender on the design and development of the Darwin Education and Civic Precinct.

The development is a centrepiece initiative of the Darwin City Deal between the Northern Territory and Australian governments and Charles Darwin University (CDU).

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is supporting CDU in the process.

The development, on the Cavenagh Street Car Park site, aims to give CDU a presence in the heart of Darwin City. The development objectives are:

  • An opportunity to showcase an iconic building that is environmentally sustainable using the latest technology and environmental science
  • A sustainable partnership, benefitting the university, industry, community and government by providing an opportunity to interact directly at many levels to foster greater interaction and synergy
  • To create contemporary learning spaces and places that will attract new students from overseas as well as provide an urban campus experience
  • A vibrant precinct that contributes to the local economy, and helps revitalise the city centre through new construction, building confidence for new investment as well as bringing new jobs and student/staff activity into the city centre

CDU Vice Chancellor, Professor Simon Maddocks said he was pleased to have reached the point where contractors can now register for the tender panel.

“We have been working closely with the Northern Territory Government and the City of Darwin to complete the remaining tasks before construction can begin,” Professor Maddocks said.

“We are now calling for contractors to be part of a short-listed panel that we will use for formal tenders for construction work.

“This process will identify the capacity and credentials of the contractors that go forward to the panel. This will help us get packages of work contracted and underway in the most efficient way possible,” he said.

The EOI closes on 18 December 2019.

Professor Maddocks said the state-of-the-art facilities provided through the new campus and its location in the heart of the Darwin CBD, together with the opportunities created for redevelopment of some of the Casuarina campus, would provide a positive stimulus to student and staff amenities.

“This represents the future for an important part of CDU for generations to come and will give domestic and international students the work, study and accommodation options they are looking for,” Professor Maddocks said.