Funding to expand Darwin's University precinct

Joint media release with the Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Populations, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) campus will be expanded under a Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)-funded project aimed at growing the city’s education and community precincts.

The Australian Government has announced the independent NAIF Board has approved a $151.5 million loan to support the construction of a new CDU city campus and a centrally located library.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt welcomed the NAIF approval of the loan, which will energise the local economy.

“The project is estimated to provide a $600 million boost to the Darwin economy over a 30-year period,” Minister Pitt said.

“The increase in workers and students will generate more business activity and bolster the local economy.

“There could be up to 10,000 international students studying in the Territory by 2025, according to the Northern Territory Government,” Minister Pitt said.

“So the expansion of this precinct is timely and will help Charles Darwin University cater many of these overseas students.”

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said construction would start this year, support hundreds of jobs and drive the local economy at a time it was needed most.

“With communities and businesses right across the nation reeling from the impacts of COVID-19, we know that every single job we can support will make a world of difference,” Minister Tudge said.

“Now we will see work get underway and bring jobs online months ahead of schedule, with the project expected to support an incredible 700 positions during construction – 300 of these on-site and 400 across the supply chain.

“Building this world-class university campus will also inject an estimated 54 ongoing jobs each year into the Darwin economy.

“It will mean an influx of students and visitors that will bolster cash flow across local businesses like cafes, restaurants, bars and retail stores.”

The $151.5 million loan is on top of $97 million already committed by the Government through the Darwin City Deal. The NAIF has previously provided conditional loan approval for the project in December 2019. 

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

Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University Professor Simon Maddocks welcomed NAIF’s full support in providing the loan for the construction of the Education and Community Precinct, which will house the university’s city campus.

“This loan is essential for the development of the precinct, which will provide a state-of-the-art facility for staff, students and the community, as well as contribute to the revitalisation of Darwin – Australia’s tropical capital city,” Professor Maddocks said.

“This is certainly great news for Darwin and for the university.”

Construction of the new precinct will start this year and is expected to be completed in time for the 2024 academic year.

NAIF is providing over $800 million in loans in the Northern Territory to a variety of projects supporting over 1,500 jobs.

To date, NAIF has approved $2.1 billion in loans into northern Australia, with half of that sum in the last 12 months.

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt's office - 02 6277 7180

Minister Tudge's office - 02 6277 7790