A new university campus aimed at reinvigorating Perth’s city centre has been given a $158 million funding boost.
- The 11-level campus will be developed opposite Yagan Square
- It will offer courses in business, technology and creative industries
- More than 10,000 staff and students are set to use the campus by 2025
As part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Western Australia, it has been announced the price tag for Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) new inner-city campus will rise to $853 million.
The cash injection is a joint commitment from the federal government, WA government and ECU.
Each government will provide an extra $49 million each, while the university has committed an additional $60 million.
Upon completion, the state-of-the-art facility is expected to attract more than 10,000 students and staff to the campus when it opens in 2025.
The additional funding paves the way for construction to begin later this year and is also a part of the “Perth City Deal”, which Mr Morrison has touted as transformational.
Project to ‘redefine’ higher education
The ECU project is forecasted to create 7,500 construction jobs and 2,300 ongoing jobs in Perth.
The Prime Minister said the new campus would reinvigorate Perth’s city centre.
A centrepiece will be the university’s hallmark arts school, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), which will breathe life into CBD streets through more than 300 performances a year.
“It will bring more jobs, and more investment to WA that will create a stronger economy and a stronger future for Perth,” Mr Morrison said.
“It will redefine Western Australia’s higher education offering by bringing together more than 10,000 students plus staff, generating tourism, filling up bars, restaurants and hotels and bringing more people to local shops and businesses.”
The additional funding is designed to address the current challenging construction environment and labour market, allow for design improvements, and enable more manufacturing work to be undertaken locally.
WA builder Multiplex has been awarded the construction contract.
‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity: WA Premier
The hype surrounding the project has been echoed by WA Premier Mark McGowan, who said it was a “once-in-a-lifetime transformation” of Perth’s city centre.
“It will attract thousands of people into the heart of the city during the day and night, creating activity and vibrancy throughout our CBD,” Mr McGowan said.
ECU vice-chancellor Steve Chapman said it was an exciting milestone.
“Our city university will definitively change the heart of Perth and be one of the most digitally-advanced campuses in the world,” Professor Chapman said.
The federal government is investing a total of $294 million, with the WA government contributing $199 million and ECU $360 million.