A bigger Darwin is not only in the Nation’s interest, but also Southern Asia itself
The Property Council of Australia strongly supports the major projects such as the City University Campus and State Square Redevelopment underpinning the Darwin City Deal.
The CBD university campus is an important piece of the overall puzzle to boost population and revitalising Darwin City and the establishment of a CBD university campus is about capitalising on a number of bigger picture factors.
We've highlighted five bigger picture factors that will help to bolster the current environment:
Capital of the North
Darwin is the closest capital city to the top 10 foreign countries that send international students to Australia (China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sir Lanka, Hong Kong and Singapore).
The Federal Government has made major changes to student visas and incentives to study and work in regional areas such as Darwin. These new incentives are specifically designed as a pathway to permanent residency. This immigration avenue will only become increasingly important as the Federal Government continues to reduce its annual immigration caps (2019: reduced by 10%) to the major southern cities.
Revitalisation and Activation
A standard requirement for student visas is for physical attendance at campus as opposed to online. This will encourage students to live and work in the city, leading to increased activation and revitalisation. Which will lead to private sector investment in the CBD for both student accommodation and retail.
Securing Federal Government Investment
The Federal Government is providing $100m in funding towards the Darwin City Deal. These funds are critical in retaining jobs and population in the post Inpex transitioning economy.
Supporting International Flights and Tourism Opportunities
Increased international student numbers would assist in the re-establishment of several past direct international flights (Malaysia, Vietnam, and Philippines).
We will continue to drive discussion around all five factors and their flow on benefits. A bigger Darwin is not only in the Nation’s interest, but also Southern Asia itself.