Prime Minister announces Darwin City Deal

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed today’s historic announcement of a City Deal for the Darwin CBD.

This commitment to funding the long term strategic needs of Darwin will unlock $500 million worth of new infrastructure – transforming the CBD into an education hub and taking the hand break off the NT economy.

The Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments have committed $100 million each to the City Deal, which will act as a lever to encourage private investment in the city.

However, the Property Council is calling on the Territory Government to drop its damaging vacant land tax so property owners in the Darwin CBD can secure the full benefits of the proposed City Deal.

While the Federal Government is offering the carrot of City Deals, the Territory Government must drop the stick of new taxes.

The Territory Government should use this opportunity to scrap the vacant property tax, which will do nothing to decrease vacancy rates in the CBD. Through no fault of their own building owners have been operating in a constrained economic environment with low tenant demand - now they are facing another burden thanks to the ill-conceived land tax.

The City Deal is a forward thinking, transformative project, and the Territory Government should embrace this future-driven strategy by alleviating pressures on building owners and scrapping their vacant property tax.

This is a historic win for the Property Council's advocacy agenda - we have been calling for a CBD campus since 2017. Property Council research showed that during the expansion of Newcastle’s new university facilities in the CBD, property development approvals increased 296%.

This report also found that the Darwin CBD had suffered from a falling student population in recent years, leading to higher vacancy rates and a visually apparent decline in inner-city vibrancy. You can read the report here.

The Property Council has long advocated for City Deals as an innovative funding mechanism to drive productive infrastructure.  You can read more about how City Deals work here.

For more information on today's announcement see: