The Princes Wharf No 2 Shed on Hobart’s waterfront is being demolished to make way for the new $45 million home for the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen joined with the Premier Lara Giddings to look over the site on Hobart’s waterfront.
Ms Giddings said Tasmania is already a world leader in marine and Antarctic research and the IMAS project will create new opportunities for the future.
“Tasmania has a proud history as an Antarctic Gateway, and that is why the Antarctic sector has been identified as a priority area in our recently released Economic Development Plan,” Ms Giddings said.
This sector is worth over $182 million per annum to the Tasmanian economy and employs about 840 people and there is significant potential for further growth.
Ms Giddings said the State Government is committed to building on Hobart’s reputation as an Antarctic gateway city.
The IMAS building project heralded an exciting period of investment in both Sullivans Cove and the Hobart CBD.
“The location of IMAS next to the CSIRO will allow for greater research collaboration and will further strengthen our important international role in marine and Antarctic science and research.
“IMAS officially started as an Institute on 1 January 2010 and is responsible for the joint Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration Agreement between the State Government and the University of Tasmania to support the development and sustainable management of our living marine resources.”
Together with the further development of the Medical Science Two building in Hobart’s CBD, the IMAS development represents an important initiative in further developing Tasmania’s reputation as a world-class centre for science and research.
Professor Rathjen said it was very fitting for IMAS, which aspires to be a leading global institution for temperate marine, Southern Ocean and Antarctic research, to be located in such an iconic new building on the waterfront.
“The aim is to bring together much of Tasmania’s considerable strengths in marine and Antarctic studies in one precinct,” Professor Rathjen said.
“It gives a physical form to the synergy with our research colleagues at CSIRO, located adjacent on Castray Esplanade, as well as with the Australian Antarctic Division, and an important positioning with international marine and Antarctic research activity in and out of Hobart’s port.”
The IMAS building project is a $45 million initiative of the Australian Government, being conducted as part of the Nation-building Economic Stimulus Plan. IMAS is currently housed at the University’s Sandy Bay and Taroona campuses.
Construction is expected to take about 18 months, with an anticipated completion date in mid-2013.The building will provide teaching and research facilities for around 290 staff and students.
The demolition of the Princes Wharf No. 2 Shed is expected to be completed next month.
Photo: UTAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen and Premier Lara Giddings.