The Northern Territory’s vision to transform the Old Darwin Hospital site into a major new museum has taken a step forward with a new tender released this week.
The NT Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is calling for planning and initial design consultancy for a new museum which will showcase Indigenous art and heritage.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner confirmed that the historic Old Hospital site would be preserved for the Territory public and form the site of a major new Museum of the Northern Territory (NT).
The Territory Labor Government made it clear that the current economic circumstances needed to be investing in the Territory - investing in and creating jobs directly through construction and indirectly by lifting the NT tourism product. According to Mr Gunner, not only will this museum embrace our own sense of identity it will attract people from around the nation and the world and this will bring millions of additional dollars to our economy.
The Northern Territory 2017-18 Budget outlined $100 million in new spending commitments by the Gunner Government to rejuvenate the Darwin CBD including finishing State Square, moving part of the Charles Darwin University campus to the CBD and a new museum at the old hospital site.
The government is investing $50 million into a museum at Myilly Point that will create hundreds of jobs through construction, and by supporting the tourism sector. It will attract visitors from around the nation and internationally, providing a boost to the NT economy.
According to Tourism and Culture Minister Lauren Moss, an important part of this concept design process will involve engaging with Territorians in determining the final shape of the museum. For the first time Territorians will have a museum that tells the 50,000 year old history of Darwin – from the world's oldest continuous culture through to the frontline of WWII and the modern day. They want to the Territorians to be a part of this process.
Darwin CBD to be transformed:
The project is part of a planned transformation of Darwin’s CBD into a world-class tourist and cultural destination. Other plans include overhauling State Square and bringing student accommodation into the centre.
This tender signals a significant step forward for the Museum of the Northern Territory. The museum will be a landmark building for Darwin and the Northern Territory, creating a building for the future that celebrates our unique history and culture. Ms Moss also highlighted that the new building concept will incorporate heat mitigation technologies and greening and energy efficient design both internal and external, connecting the building to the landscape. A key requirement for the successful tenderer is for open space and a net increase of green space.
Stage One works of the new museum are anticipated to begin in the 2019-20 financial year. A concept design for the new museum will be based on extensive public consultation and stakeholder input.
The consultant will work with local residents on how the new Darwin Museum and parkland should best contribute to a vibrant local community. This consultation will run in parallel with the 10-year Museum Master Plan consultation which will get underway in the coming weeks.
The 10-year Museum Master Plan will provide a framework and direction for the Northern Territory’s investment in cultural infrastructure in Darwin and Palmerston, including museums, galleries, libraries, art centres and keeping places.
Tenders relating to this project are available at Australian Tenders.
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