Contract awarded for construction of CDU city campus

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

Local Territory construction company Halikos has been awarded the contract to build the new Charles Darwin University (CDU) Education and Community Precinct in Darwin’s central business district.

The $190.1 million agreement Design and Construct contract is for the construction of the main building, its complete fit-out as operating education and office spaces, and the landscaping of the public areas.

The $250 million project and centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal is a partnership between the Federal Government, the Northern Territory Government and Charles Darwin University (CDU).

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the Commonwealth was focused on funding critical infrastructure projects that will help drive economic growth across the city.

“The new Charles Darwin University precinct is the centrepiece of the $320 million Darwin City Deal and will help shape the culture and vibrancy of the city for future generations,” Minister Fletchers said.

“Once complete, this project will have created more than 700 jobs, helped to diversify the local economy and elevated Darwin’s competitiveness in the international education sector.”

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

“This 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. 

“The project is already delivering a significant number of local jobs and at the peak of construction it’s expected up to 260 workers will be on-site each day.”

Federal Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, said the project was an ongoing investment in the local economy.

“The new precinct will boost foot traffic through our CBD and activate the area by supporting pop-up community activities such as food trucks and events,” Dr McMahon said.

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO said once complete, the new precinct will establish Darwin as a true city of education.

“This precinct will be a gateway into the city and make the statement that Darwin is the leading location for education studies and scientific research in Northern Australia,” Professor Bowman said.

“This new campus will deliver state-of-the-art facilities to support our students and will provide Territory businesses with the skilled workforce they need now and into the future.”

Halikos Managing Director, Shane Dignan, said the company was proud to be awarded the contract for the construction of CDU’s new city campus. 

“The Education and Community Precinct will elevate our Darwin CBD and Halikos, as a local Territory company is honoured to have the opportunity to be involved in such a transformative project,” Mr Dignan said.  

“Halikos is heavily invested in the Darwin community and we will work with local consultants, subcontractors and suppliers to deliver this world-class university campus and community precinct.”

Halikos was appointed earlier in the project to work with the Precinct’s Principal Design Consultant to complete the detailed design work and then submit a price to CDU for the finalisation of the design and construction. 

In partnership with the Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC), who are the Traditional Owners of the land, Halikos will provide Indigenous employment opportunities throughout the project.

Once complete in 2024, the precinct will house CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law; disciplines of the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts; Information Technology; and the university’s International College and Art Gallery. 

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