Relocate the University of Tasmania's main Launceston campus to the heart of the city

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Project Description

City Deal partners will support the University of Tasmania and the local community to deliver a new university campus close to the CBD. This will boost the region’s economy and jobs, provide the capacity to grow domestic and international student numbers by 10,000, increase student retention rates and strengthen industry engagement.

UTAS Development - artist impression
Artist impression of UTAS development 

The development of the new University campus at Inveresk will provide 430 new jobs across the construction phase (20 per cent of which will be apprenticeships and traineeships) and 225 direct long-term academic and support staff jobs (full-time equivalent) at the University.

The project will:

  • Increase the number and diversity of people able to engage in higher education learning pathways.
  • Develop areas of research distinctiveness that play to Northern Tasmanian strengths.
  • Deliver an economic stimulus to Northern Tasmania through education.
  • Contribute a lasting boost in regional and state-wide productivity and link innovation hubs to industry.
  • Connect the city and the University, supporting the objectives of the City Heart project.
  • Create a 21st century curriculum and learning environment and deliver world class research.
  • Deliver infrastructure to encourage active transport opportunities through the city centre.
  • Encourage the co-use of facilities by students and the broader community.

Progress Statement

In July 2017, the University of Tasmania (UTas) released a masterplan for the Inveresk site. The community was invited to have its say through Open Days held on 12-13 August 2017 and public submissions were accepted up to 1 September 2017. Feedback from this community consultation process is being used to inform the detailed design phase, including a greater emphasis on business colocation opportunities in the precinct, and increased focus on community access to, and utilisation of, the campus and precinct. The University is also committed to maximising the incorporation of Tasmanian wood products, including structural components where possible, to support the evolution and development of the timber industry.

In early November 2017, UTas submitted a strategic-level business case to Infrastructure Australia (IA). Feedback from IA has been provided to help UTas prepare its final detailed business case, which is due in January 2019.

City Deal partners have now settled their contributions to the project:

  • On 16 January 2018, the Australian Government announced its agreement with UTas to provide $130 million contribution.
  • On 25 January 2018, the Tasmanian Government settled its funding agreement with UTas to provide $60 million.
  • The City of Launceston has transferred the land for the Inveresk site to UTas.

The City Deal envisioned the new campus would be completed by 2020. Informed by further detailed planning, the funding agreements between UTas and the Australian and Tasmanian Governments require completion of the new University campus by October 2021. Students and staff will commence using the Inveresk facilities throughout 2021 as buildings are completed, and the site fully operational by the beginning of 2022.

In a related initiative, the Australian Government is providing UTas with a further $41 million over five years to support an additional 500 sub bachelor Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) in 2018 and 1000 ongoing sub bachelor CSP from 2019 (for the Northern Transformation project which includes the redevelopment of both the Launceston and Burnie campuses).

UTas is focusing its efforts on building forecast student demand and is on track to use the 500 additional CSP in 2018.

UTas has commenced the internal design work to support a principal consulting architect – to be appointed by mid-2018 –to undertake the detailed design and ensure ongoing and direct engagement with the broader Launceston and regional communities.

Key research themes are consolidating around the health/sports sciences; food innovation; wood, smart cities; tourism and the future of work. New learning priorities are likely to include more focus on ‘micro learning’ and greater alignment with future industry growth areas (especially health and community services) as well as core future talents for industry – for example complex reasoning, fine motor skills and digital literacy.

A focus on new technologies, entrepreneurship and cultural creativity will be key enablers.

Next Steps and Milestones

Q2 2018: Request for Tender for the Inveresk Principal Consultant closed.

Q2 2018: Planning Scheme Amendment for the Inveresk Precinct was submitted.

Q3 - Q4 2018: Engagement with community and stakeholders in the relevant parts of the design process.

Q4 2018: Development application submitted for approval.

Q1 2019: Final detailed business case submitted to Infrastructure Australia (IA) for assessment.

Q1 2019: IA to assess University of Tasmania's detailed business case, with the assessment to be made public in accordance with IA’s processes.

Early 2019: Construction commences at Inveresk.

2021: Construction concludes and occupation of staff and students commences as individual buildings are completed.

2022: Full operations at Inveresk.

Ongoing: Reporting on the project benefits and outcomes.

Financial Information

Funding partners:

  • $64.6 million - University of Tasmania
  • $130 million - Australian Government
  • $60 million - Tasmanian Government
  • $5.4 million (land value) - City of Launceston

Responsibilities

University of Tasmania (UTas) will establish the university precinct, facilitate industry engagement and ensure innovation activities at the University are aligned with the objectives of Regional Economic Development Plan and the Macquarie House Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub.

UTas to meet requirements in funding agreements with the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

UTas will report to the Executive Board on progress in establishing the new University campus, broader community benefits and progress in engaging local job seekers and apprentices.