Charles Darwin University

Loan towards CDU City and Casuarina Campus Project (Investment Decision: June 2020)

Charles Darwin University

Project:          CDU City and Casuarina Campus Project

Location:        Darwin, Northern Territory

Sector:            Education and Training

NAIF loan Total project value
$151.5m $250m


Public Benefit Jobs
$599.5m Around 730 jobs (Source: Rider Levett Bucknall calculations) during construction, plus 54 jobs per year once constructed. (Source: Deloitte New Campus Strategy, benefit estimation, October 2019)


About the Project

NAIF’s loan will enable the Darwin City Deal’s Education and Community Precinct to progress, comprising a new CDU city campus, and a central city library (co-locating parts of existing libraries at CDU and NTG).

The new Education and Community Precinct in the heart of Darwin will not only bring major benefits and opportunities to the university, staff and students, but also will help grow the NT economy and support the community, by helping transform the Darwin CBD through the relocation of students to the city campus, driving increased retail activity and creating opportunities for Darwin’s businesses.

NAIF’s loan is in addition to $97 million already committed by the Commonwealth Government through the Darwin City Deal initiative.

Construction is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2024 academic year.

Indigenous Engagement

  • Ongoing engagement with Larrakia to collaborate on showcasing culture, adopting cultural protocols and exploring work programs; a review of the CDU Reconciliation Action Plan and related policies, and provision of providing appropriate cultural training for new employees.
  • During construction a supplier use target of 3% for Indigenous businesses will be sought to be achieved. CDU will also develop an Indigenous procurement policy and set achievable targets within this.
  • CDU will seek to achieve an Indigenous employment target of 8.8% for the construction phase, promote employment and supply chain opportunities and in the longer term seek to achieve Indigenous employment of 80 FTEs within CDU.

The 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.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Hon. Keith Pitt MP, and NAIF CEO Chris Wade on the site of CDU’s city campus

NAIF media release:

Ministerial media release:

Link to project webpage:

Note: Financial assistance to the project is subject to a number of conditions including the finalisation of the Northern Territory Government’s consideration and agreement for the approved funds to be advanced.

Economic Impact and Public Benefit

Providing modern education facilities for those in the Northern Territory and help to transform the Darwin CBD by bringing students on campus into the city. Around 730 jobs will be created during the construction phase including on-site and off-site works. A public benefit assessment forecast that this project will produce net benefits to the Darwin economy of $599m over a 30-year period through increased urbanisation and economic activity. It is also forecast to support an additional 54 jobs a year in the Darwin economy