Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Groundbreaking day for landmark ECU city campus

Main construction works have commenced on Edith Cowan University’s newest campus – and the first comprehensive university to be situated within the Perth CBD – with a sod turning ceremony held at the $853 million ECU City site today.

Premier, Mark McGowan said the university would invigorate the Perth City Link precinct and CBD by introducing a community of more than 10,000 staff and students to integrate with industry, and stimulate economic activity and patronage for surrounding businesses.

“ECU City will transform the face of the Perth city, drawing thousands of students and staff to the city centre every day to create a thriving, vibrant CBD,” the Premier said.

“It will be a game-changer for businesses in the city, driving economic activity and creating thousands of local jobs.

“The project will also create new jobs and opportunities for local Aboriginal businesses and workers throughout the construction phase, as well as supporting apprenticeships and traineeships.

“Once open, the campus will attract the best and brightest to our State, while providing industry-ready graduates that will fuel the pipeline of a highly skilled local workforce,” he said.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King said the Australian Government was continuing to invest in city-defining projects, such as the ECU City campus.

“We were pleased to be able to confirm the additional funding required to secure project delivery as part of the last Federal Budget,” she said.

“This university will not only offer incredible, future-focused opportunities to students, but it will change the fabric of Perth as a city – creating a vibrant nexus to its cultural and business precincts, where people, the arts, technology, and industry will converge and collaborate.

“With the project now entering the main works construction phase, ECU City will create a powerhouse city precinct, while unlocking opportunities for innovation and collaboration between industry, research and education.”

Up to 5,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction, fuelling local employment and supporting nearby businesses. During the peak of the building phase up to 800 construction and support staff are anticipated to be on-site.

The project is also set to create new opportunities for apprentices and Aboriginal businesses and workers, with head contractor, Multiplex, committing to targets that will deliver more jobs for local communities. It is anticipated that business and employment targets will result in at least 3% of subcontracts being awarded to registered Aboriginal businesses, and a minimum of 2.1% of the workforce to be Aboriginal people. Apprenticeships will also make up at least 11.5% of the site’s workforce, driving a significant skills boost in the construction sector.

“The breaking of ground is an exciting milestone for the ECU City project and the transformation of Perth,” said WA Planning Minister, Rita Saffioti.

“Situated at the doorstep of one of the busiest transport hubs in Perth, students, staff and the community will benefit from a transport network that allows unrivalled ease of access, straight to the entrance of the campus and connected with all parts of our city.

“The project is on track and has kept a phenomenal pace as a result of the collaboration between all levels of Government, multiple agencies and ECU.”

Due for completion in late 2025 and opening to students in the first semester of 2026, the 60,000 square-metre ECU City campus will feature a dynamic digital media façade, activated streetscapes and laneways and an immersive entrance that envelopes the Perth Busport.

The multi-disciplinary campus will be home to ECU’s renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), School of Business and Law, School of Arts and Humanities with the WA Screen Academy and Broadcasting, emerging technology programs from the School of Science and Kurongkurl Katitjin – the university’s Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research.

ECU City will feature next-generation learning, engagement and performance spaces, including:

  • Six state-of-the-art WAAPA public performance venues, as home to more than 300 public performances every year;
  • Dynamic digital media façade and immersive entrance that envelopes the public plaza;
  • Digital smart labs and industry engagement hub;
  • Radio, television and film production studios;
  • Arts and design studios and workshops;
  • Public gallery and event spaces;
  • Technology enhanced learning commons and student support facilities.

“This is an exciting milestone for the ECU City campus, less than three years since we first announced this ambitious and transformational project,” said ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Chapman CBE.

“ECU City will be a world-class and immersive campus that enables inquiring and creative minds to flourish.

“The campus will be the launchpad for the future creators, innovators and problem solvers of tomorrow, while strengthening our university’s, and Western Australia’s, position as a leader in higher education.

“ECU City will provide an anchor for future-focused learning, new discoveries and creative expression, while connecting our university with the community and industry in a new way.”

The ECU City project is a collaborative partnership with the Australian Government committing $294 million, the Western Australian Government $199 million and ECU $360 million.

More information is available at www.citycampus.ecu.edu.au.

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