Since the funding was secured, broad master planning and community engagement has been conducted. A development application for the new campus at West Park was submitted to Burnie City Council in December 2018 and approved in April 2019. Construction of the campus building is now complete, with Fairbrother, a recognised leader in the State’s building and construction sector, providing the expertise. Staged works are continuing across the surrounding area until mid-2022 as sections of the car park and landscaping are finalised, and new facilities for the City of Burnie Brass Band and Burnie Highland Pipe Band are built. Follow construction progress on site.
A central campus at West Park will foster more opportunities for integration with community and industry, and be easier to access from the CBD. It will also provide spaces that members of the community – not just students – can benefit from. These will be purpose-built to support collaboration, dynamic teaching and peer-to-peer learning. In doing so, we literally bring higher education into the heart of the community, where it becomes a very natural part of the civic landscape while creating a once-in-a-generation capital investment program that will have a lasting economic impact and support job creation across the region.
The waterfront setting of our future campus overlooking the iconic Bass Strait will provide our students with a unique, world-class university experience that is distinctive to the North-West.
We are in the process of developing an activation plan to ensure ongoing opportunities are available for the community to enjoy this educational site.
The new campus at West Park began as a $40 million development funded through contributions from the Tasmanian Government, the Federal Government, the Burnie City Council and the University. It is part of a $300 million project for Northern Tasmania that also encompasses a new campus at Inveresk in Launceston and the delivery of more affordable, flexible and regionally-distinct course offerings. The University has since contributed an additional $12 million to the West Park development, taking the total project worth to $52 million. The increase in funds aligns with our commitment to serve the North-West region, make a positive difference to its people and provide unique, world-class learning experiences. The University will hold the title for the new building and legally own it, which is different to the University’s current location at Mooreville Road where it leases the building from the Tasmanian Government. However, we see the campus at West Park very much as a community building, being 'owned' by the communities it will benefit.
Yes. The University is also building a new campus at Inveresk in Launceston which will be undertaken in four stages. Read more about the future Inveresk campus.
Since the mid-1980s, significant parts of the University of Tasmania have moved into Hobart’s inner city. In May 2019, University Council made the decision to embrace a future built around the city-centric model in Hobart, anchored from the University’s original home on the Domain. Visit the Southern Future website.
The University has been developing a suite of regionally-distinctive courses that are place-based, leverage the strengths of the North-West, and align with workforce requirements.
An Accelerated Bachelor of Business and Master of Business Administration will be offered in 2022, and we are continuing to develop further study options in the disciplines of engineering and technology.
New courses which have been introduced:
- Bachelor of Psychological Science
- Bachelor of Nursing
- Associate Degree in Equipment Design & Technology
- Z1X Diploma of Construction Management
- Graduate Certificate in Business Studies
Current courses will continue to be available, building on our strong reputation in education, business, social work, arts and University College offerings.
TasTAFE shares our goal to lift educational attainment for all Tasmanians and already works closely with the University. The Northern Transformation Project provides an opportunity for both education providers to explore better articulation pathways, increased cooperation in course development and delivery, and strategies that help create a single-door approach to post-school education.
The existing student accommodation at West Park will remain, as will the Atrium Apartments at Mooreville Road which house medical students who are studying at the Rural Clinical School.
We know there will be a need for increased accommodation to house students who will be undertaking their study at our new Cradle Coast campus at West Park, however, the impacts of COVID-19 on the University's budget means we have to approach this very sensibly and strategically. We remain committed to working closely with Burnie City Council on the King Street accommodation project within the CBD.
There are no plans to relocate the Rural Clinical School's teaching and research programs from their current sites at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie and Mersey Community Hospital in Latrobe. Medical students in these programs will be able to access student facilities, accommodation and other support services at the West Park precinct.
As part of the Northern Transformation Project, we are embarking on a new campus operating model that will reshape the way we deliver education to better reflect how our local communities want to engage with learning.
This model will strengthen our presence, programs and partnerships in Burnie and across the North-West, while helping us realise our vision of being a regionally-embedded campus with course offerings unique to the area.
A set of core objectives sit at the heart of this work which include a commitment to growing the volume and diversity of people furthering their learning, supporting the revitalisation of our region and increasing the conversation about education in Tasmania.
The new campus at West Park will provide us with an opportunity to engage people at all stages of their life journey with education, including school leavers, mature-age individuals looking to return to study or retrain, interstate and international students, and people from anywhere in the world who can study programs online hosted right here in Burnie.
The University is committed to improving educational outcomes in the North-West. Higher education attainment across this region is significantly lower than the national average by an estimated 14%.
Our Northern Transformation Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will help address this by building a new city campus with world-class facilities, making education more accessible and visible by positioning the University in the heart of the community.
The present teaching and learning spaces at Mooreville Road limit our capacity to provide the flexible, blended learning opportunities which students will need into the future. The site is also owned by the Department of Education.
With a projected increase in enrolments stemming from new, regionally-distinct courses, we will require a modern, fit-for-purpose campus that supports and encourages future students to further their learning in the region, while meeting the needs of individuals who are looking to retrain or upskill.
As there is already a significant University presence at West Park, the site provides the greatest potential for developing a higher education precinct into the future.
The campus has a similar footprint to the Mooreville Road infrastructure. Our new approach to learning and teaching practices have seen the facilities designed in a way that promotes increased utilisation of our spaces. This will in part, be influenced by initiatives like our activation plan that will bring vibrancy to the site, not just in the form of new students but also by creating an environment where education in all its forms, business, industry, and the community can intersect.
The Cradle Coast campus at West Park has been shaped by the people and the region it will serve, responding to place, history, the community and local geography.
The University consulted widely during the master planning process and in 2018, a co-design reference group was established, comprised of community representatives, staff and students who provided input which informed the campus design.
The building shape reflects the rising escarpments of the rugged Bass Strait coastline while the green roof speaks to the fields of the rich North-West landscapes. The design also embraces the sea and local climate, framing views and creating spaces where visitors can experience and retreat from the weather.
It echoes the industrial heritage architecture that is present on the North-West Coast, while representing a pivotal point between honouring where we have come from and inspiring hope about where we are going.
Yes. The Australian Government committed significant funds towards the Northern Transformation Program. Following the commitment, and in line with Government processes, the University was required to submit a proposal to Infrastructure Australia. The proposal was positively evaluated in June 2019 and has been added to the Infrastructure Priority List as a Priority Project. In its evaluation summary, Infrastructure Australia said it was "confident that the Program would provide overall economic benefit to Australia and is strategically important in developing northern Tasmania".
The University has signed a Deed of Surrender for its lease over this site, which is owned by the Tasmanian Government. We will retain the Atrium Apartments which accommodates our medical students. The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) will remain at Mooreville Road for the foreseeable future.
The bands will have access to new facilities which are being constructed on the western side of the West Park site. This work forms part of a separate development application that has been approved by Burnie City Council. Construction of the new band facilities is expected to be complete around March 2022.
The new development will be sensitive to the natural environment, placing a high importance on the protection of native flora and fauna, including the penguin colony and coastline. As part of our planning and design process we have consulted extensively with Friends of Burnie Penguins, integrated Environmentally Sustainable Design principles and prioritised the energy efficiency of the building. Impacts related to climate change have also been taken into account.
Burnie City Council previously managed parking at West Park. As the University’s construction of the new campus approaches its completion, the majority of car parking areas have been removed to allow for new landscaping and parking. Under the development approval, 374 car parks are being provided along the Northern and North-Western sides of the West Park oval. These car parks will meet the needs of all precinct partners at West Park. City commuter parking is no longer available, and Burnie City Council’s commercial parking facilities should be utilised. The existing car park west of Makers’ Workshop will remain open for visitors to the University’s functions in the building, noting the Council has closed its Visitor Information Centre and Creative Paper Mill facility. The reserved parking spaces for Student Accommodation residents, and the bays located at the Ground Floor entrance of The Point, are not impacted.
Yes. An Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) facility has been co-located at the Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing & Energy Council (TMEC) in the heart of South Burnie’s industrial precinct. The OEM is a space that builds on North-West Tasmania’s advanced manufacturing excellence and is where the new University College Associate Degree in Equipment Design and Technology is being delivered. It comprises state-of-the-art equipment and technology where students can design components for real projects as they rub shoulders with industry. While the OEM initially formed part of the West Park campus design, we’ve realised there is significant value in embedding this facility within industry. This will enhance the experiences and outcomes for our students by providing them with a regionally-distinctive education that connects them with the real world.
The Domestic Arts building, which is the last remaining structure from the original Burnie High School, forms part of the rich educational history of West Park. We are proud to be integrating this architectural asset into the design of the future campus, bringing together the learning activities of the past with those of the present. Adjustments have been made to the interior of the building which will enable the space to support even greater teaching and learning activities into the future. A second entry/exit will connect the building with the internal courtyard and heart of the campus.
The new campus was designed in a way that is sympathetic to the surrounding natural and urban environment, following an extensive consultation process that involved the community, students and staff. Increasing the building’s height in the future was not a factor or consideration in the resulting design. While we are committed to growing the number of locally-offered courses, as well as the volume and diversity of our students, there are other ways in which we plan to accommodate this, that will not warrant additional infrastructure on site.
As the new campus at West Park is within close proximity to Burnie’s CBD, it has always been our intention to explore partnerships with gym providers nearby. The Burnie Surf Life Saving Club is the new home of our Unigym, providing a small boutique weights and cardio area. Members will also have access to 4 group fitness classes a week. Memberships are also on offer for students and staff at Anytime Fitness.
The building has two storeys with a mezzanine area located directly above. This will house the building’s mechanical plant, as well as tanks that will catch and recycle water for the green roof.
As a University for Tasmania, we are willing to work with the State Government to assist and support an emergency response in any way that we safely can.
Yes. The boardwalk plays an important role in connecting West Park with the waterfront precinct and CBD. As we progress landscaping activity on site, please note that some sections of the boardwalk will be impacted until mid-2022.
Yes. We are very keen for the site to be a community campus as much as a University campus, and want to welcome people from right across our region, whether it be through engagement with our learning programs, or utilisation of our facilities. As part of our landscaping of the immediate area, we are exploring ways, and infrastructure, that will allow us to host community visitors around the site.
Yes. It is our intention to continue hosting and engaging local schools to support the lifelong learning journeys of our next generation.
The campus will be staffed during business hours, accessible 24/7 by students and staff with swipe cards, and open to the community after hours for special events. The Student Centre hours will be Monday – Friday, 8.45am – 5pm. This is also when our main doors officially open and close.
Cabin Coffee will be open to community members Monday - Friday, 8am – 3pm, and accessible via the eastern campus entrance.
The University is working with stakeholders including Burnie City Council to reimagine Makers’ Workshop into a vibrant, new model that will continue contributing to the life and energy of Burnie, and complement the educational, cultural, sporting and recreation activity across the wider West Park site. With tourism operations including the Visitor Information Centre and Creative Paper Mill having now ceased at Makers' Workshop, there are currently no activities happening in the building. Makers' Workshop is temporarily closed to the public until its next chapter begins.
Yes. A bike storage shelter will be located a short walk from the building’s main entrance. It will provide secure swipe card access storage for 40 bikes, and undercover open storage for a further 18. The facility will include charging stations for electric bikes, a bike repair station and water bottle refill station. There will also be a number of bike racks placed around the campus. Completion of the bike storage shelter is expected in late October.