The creation of the world’s most uplifting defence and aerospace precinct, Astra Aerolab, takes another significant step forward this month, with Newcastle Airport appointing Daracon as lead contractor for the stage one civil works.
Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock says the realisation of the globally significant hub will help position the region at the forefront of international innovation and high-end manufacturing.
“We’ve seen our region evolve quickly in recent years and we’re confident Astra will be a catalyst for further growth and development into the future,” he said.
“I’m confident this development will become the pre-eminent space for innovation in aviation, defence and aerospace-related manufacturing, maintenance, research and education in Australia.
“I’d like to congratulate prominent local firm Daracon Contractors on a successful tender application for this first stage of the Astra Aerolab development.
“As leaders on this project, they will manage a contract worth approximately $13 million. We’ve additionally signed a number of other contractors, bringing our total commitment to approximately $18 milllion to date.
“Stage one includes all the elements required to deliver on the promise of an uplifting experience for both workers and business. Including road pavements, sewer, water, lighting, CCTV, fencing, street furniture, signage, high quality landscaping and street art.
“We will also be ensuring this is a smart, sustainable site, including the installation of smart pole technology, which has already been adopted by the City of Newcastle, water sensitive urban design and additional fibre optic links to allow connections to our defence neighbours at RAAF Williamtown.
“Wherever possible, construction material will be recycled. Ultimately, we’re aiming to achieve overall precinct sustainability accreditation with our design to create something truly remarkable.
“The $19.8 million Astra Aerolab development is set to deliver 5,500 new jobs and greater global connectivity for the region,” Dr Cock said.
Daracon Executive Manager David Mingay said, “we are very excited to have the opportunity to continue working with Newcastle Airport and commence the civil works for the Astra Aerolab Development.”
“We are a Newcastle business, so it is great to be involved in a significant local project such as this. Astra Aerolab will be a great boost to the region, and another step in the ongoing success and growth of the airport,” Mr Mingay said.
The NSW Government contributed $11.8 million to the Astra Aerolab development under the Growing Local Economies program, established under the Restart NSW Fund. NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro congratulated the Daracon Group on securing the contract to deliver the first tranche of the development.
“This project will support the local construction industry while also delivering future economic growth, and I’m delighted the NSW Government is contributing significant funding to assist with the delivery of this outstanding new infrastructure.
“Upon completion, this development will see new jobs created in the Hunter, greater global connectivity for the region and an injection of millions of dollars into the NSW economy,” Mr Barilaro said.
Expected completion of the stage one works is scheduled for late 2020. The tender is based on a four-contractor panel that will run for three years with Daracon being the first panel member to secure work.