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NEWS Last modified on February 3, 2020

Newcastle set to boast Australia's new aerospace innovation centre

Newcastle Airport in Australia claims that the creation of the "world’s most uplifting defence and aerospace precinct", Astra Aerolab, has taken another significant step forward this month, with the appointment of Daracon as lead contractor for the stage one civil works.

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 enthuses.

“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.
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“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 A$13 million. We’ve additionally signed a number of other contractors, bringing our total commitment to approximately A$18 milllion to date."

He notes that stage one of the project includes all the elements required to deliver on the promise of an uplifting experience for both workers and business.

These are said to include 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," adds Cock.
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“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 A$19.8 million Astra Aerolab development is set to deliver 5,500 new jobs and greater global connectivity for the region."

Daracon's executive manager, David Mingay, says: “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."

The NSW Government contributed A$11.8 million to the Astra Aerolab development under the Growing Local Economies program, established under the Restart NSW Fund.

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