Issue 4
Monday, 03 June 2019
Charles Darwin University
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks overlooks the site for the Education and Civic Precinct in Darwin’s CBD, which is part of the Darwin City Deal
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks overlooks the site for the Education and Civic Precinct in Darwin’s CBD, which is part of the Darwin City Deal

Planning underway for vertical campus

By Robyn McDougall

Charles Darwin University has taken the first material steps towards realising its CBD campus as part of the Darwin City Deal.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said CDU had advertised for tenders recently for the provision of expertise that would assist the university to deliver this complex project, including legal, probity, facility planning, design, project management and cost planning. 

“These are the components we need in place to embark on the second stage of the project, which will be around strategy, planning and finance. That stage is expected to take about six months,” Professor Maddocks said. 

The Australian Government has allocated $93 million of its $100 million Darwin City Deal contribution specifically to the Education and Civic Precinct, which will have CDU’s vertical campus in Cavanagh Street as its focus. 

The Northern Territory Government also has allocated $100 million to various City Deal projects, which is a partnership between the three tiers of government. 

Professor Maddocks stressed, however, that the success of the CDU in the CBD project relied on the university accessing further funds through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

“We will need around an additional $150 million from the NAIF, coupled with the $93 million from the Australian Government’s contribution to the Darwin City Deal, to deliver the CBD campus project,” Professor Maddocks said. 

“Discussions are well advanced in relation to negotiating finance from the NAIF to create the necessary funding package, which will then go before the CDU Council for consideration.

“I have no doubt that the inner-city campus will deliver real benefits to both the university and the Territory,” he said.

Analysis by Deloitte Access Economics has found that the inner-city campus could increase economic output in the Darwin region by more than $250 million during the next 15 years and sustain an extra 100 jobs in the Darwin economy by 2023.

“Our contributions to the intellectual, social, cultural and economic well-being of the Territory and Northern Australia can only grow with the CBD campus,” Professor Maddocks said.

“Having a significant presence in the city will facilitate greater engagement between the university, business, government and innovators – delivering benefits right across our communities.

“Investment in the CBD campus also will underpin CDU’s competitiveness as a university that’s attractive to international and domestic students. It will strengthen our ability to meet the future needs of Territorians.” 

Professor Maddocks said that in the fast-changing landscape of tertiary education, it was imperative that CDU offered world-class university infrastructure and accommodation that supported an enhanced student experience.