Dubai, Khazar Islands and Now Possibly Darwin

A Darwin based developer has commenced initial feasibility works for an ambitious man-made island development off the coast of Darwin. The scale or design of the proposed project is as yet unknown, but the proponent has secured a 5 year Crown lease over the proposed site and has begun undertaking geotechnical drilling. If those results prove positive, the proponent will progress with environmental assessments. The site of the proposed area is 200m off the northern suburb beach of Nightcliff, and the total area under Crown lease is 98ha.

The project has sparked considerable community backlash with local residents opposing the location, scale and merits of the proposed project. Opponents have raised issues with the manner in which the Crown lease was granted without public tender or consultation, and whether the terms of the Crown lease in fact permits the initial geotechnical studies or indeed the future proposed development.

A project of this kind is a reflection of the continuing strength of the NT economy, and in particular the housing market where limited in-fill land supply has seen northern suburb property prices surge. If it proceeds, it will place Darwin within a rare group of cities to undertake similar developments.