The first stage of the development will be the Library and Student Experience building, along with the bridge across the North Esk. This will be completed by the end of 2021.
Stage two will be the Learning and Teaching Building, which is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.
Stage three, Willis Street, will house learning and teaching and research space as well as the Launceston Institute for Applied Science and Design and is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.
Stage four involves the refurbishment of our existing buildings on Inveresk – Architecture and Design, and the historic stone building, which houses the School of Creative Arts. This work is due to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.
Parallel with these works will be the development of the ‘urban realm’, which will encompass landscape design, active recreation areas and community spaces.
The University already has a significant presence at Inveresk, including the School of Creative Arts, the School of Architecture and Design and the 120-bed student accommodation. The move of the rest of the campus will create a university city, with easy pedestrian, bike and public transport access, high visibility and integration with community and industry.
This development provides a historic opportunity to design a modern fit-for-purpose campus, lift educational attainment and revitalise the region. We are building a contemporary, vibrant campus that is distinctive to Northern Tasmania and provides a unique experience to future students, staff and the community. CBD-located campuses mean that all members of the community – not just students – can benefit from the facilities.
The Newnham campus is poorly designed for contemporary learning, teaching and research, underutilised, with run-down infrastructure and facilities. Refurbishing Newnham would be more expensive than developing a new campus. Inveresk provides the ability to create learning spaces which support peer-to-peer learning, digital connectivity and a village atmosphere which encourages informal learning and collaboration.
The University already has a presence at both Inveresk and West Park. These sites provide the most potential for developing the University within the regions for the future. Central campus locations at Inveresk and West Park will ensure more opportunities for integration with community and industry and easier access from the CBD.
Our new campuses will also provide spaces that the whole community – not just students – can benefit from. Student hubs and innovation spaces 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 and create a once-in-a-generation capital investment program which will have lasting economic impact and job creation across the region.
The Northern Transformation Program is a partnership between the University of Tasmania, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments, and the Burnie and Launceston councils, which originally included a $260 million investment towards a new University campus at Inveresk.
The University has secured additional investment towards the Launceston project including $54 million for student accommodation across the Inveresk campus and within the CBD. The Australian Government has also committed $30 million to fund stage one of the Maritime and Defence Innovation and Design Precinct as part of the expansion of the Australian Maritime College at the Newnham campus.
This additional investment brings the total investment committed towards the redevelopment of the University in Launceston to $344 million.
A staged approach to construction allows us to maximise the economic benefit for Tasmania.
We know there is a construction boom in Tasmania at present. Building the whole campus at once would stretch Tasmania’s construction industry beyond its capacity, driving up costs as we imported an expensive workforce from interstate and overseas. Higher costs would restrict the size of the campus.
We must capture the most economic benefit in the region and the State during construction while supporting a local skilled workforce. To do so, construction of the new campus needs to be sequenced around a crowded pipeline of major projects throughout Tasmania.
With careful planning, the University of Tasmania’s redevelopment in Launceston will deliver long term economic and skills boosts for the construction industry in Tasmania, rather than a short-term hit.
Jobs at the University will increase.
Growing educational attainment in Northern Tasmania means we need to grow our most important asset – our people. We expect staff numbers will increase by 250 to deliver services and support to the growing number of students. These positions will consist of new academic and teaching staff, as well as new professional staff supporting academic and student endeavours across the campus. These are full time equivalent figures. All of this will flow through to the region as economic benefit.
The growth of the project to one worth $344 million, and the move to a staged construction approach, means a greater investment in Launceston built by local industry.
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".
Yes. The University is building a campus at West Park in Burnie, relocating from Mooreville Rd in 2021. A development application has been approved by Burnie City Council and construction is expected to commence this year.
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.
In addition to existing course being transferred to Inveresk, new courses are being developed, focusing on the strengths of the region including food, agriculture, timber and health. Work is advancing on courses in Timber Engineering, and Environmental Science, and the College of Health and Medicine is scoping new offerings in Allied Health.
Rather than wait for the new buildings, we have already begun delivering new courses. The accelerated Bachelor of Business was introduced this year, exclusive to Launceston and delivered in the heart of the CBD at Enterprize. The Master of Information Technology and Systems and the Master of Professional Accounting are also proving very successful in attracting students to Launceston.
The University College was established in 2017, initially delivering two Associate Degrees – in Agribusiness and Applied Business. University College opens doors to education for more people, creating new learning pathways into qualifications and careers. It now offers courses across Science, Health, Business, Technology and more. Headquartered in the North, it is teaching more than 900 students around Tasmania and will continue to grow.
Yes. In addition to the University’s existing research activities, The Launceston Institute for Applied Science and Design will support regional innovation through demand-driven research in response to industry needs.
The Launceston Institute will focus on translating specialist knowledge to create advantage for the Northern region. It will support regional innovation in food, wood and agriculture primarily through industry-led and demand-driven research.
To be housed in the Research and Health Sciences building on Willis Street, the Institute will start work shortly from a ‘pop up’ site in the City for University collaboration with industry and the community, focused on applied science and design. It will also be home to the new Industry 4.0 Testlab currently being established in Launceston.
10,000 students will be engaged with the Inveresk campus every year by 2032. These students will be on campus for traditional bachelor's degrees, associate degrees or higher degrees by research; undertaking short courses or micro-credentials, often outside of typical work hours; or accessing study developed and delivered online by academics working out of Inveresk.
To reach that target, we need to increase year 12 completion and retention, attract more mature age Tasmanians to education, attract more international and interstate students, and increase digital literacy.
The University is actively working with its partners to implement strategies to achieve these outcomes. Key initiatives currently underway include:
- The University College is already providing pathways into qualifications and careers in science, health, technology, business and more, with over 900 students statewide, and adding short courses like the new Cider Start Up course.
- The Community Learning Pathways Project delivered free taster courses in partnership with TasTAFE, the Devonport Library and the Northern Suburbs Community Centre. Following a successful pilot, there is interest to expand the program to Burnie, George Town and the West Coast.
- Volunteering and Leadership short courses, delivered in partnership with Rural Youth, have attracted more than 1000 participants.
- The ongoing development of uniquely regional, place-based learning, teaching and research offerings to attract students and staff to the North and support increased productivity, growth and innovation in the region.
The new campus will be smaller than our current campus, more efficient and carefully designed to meet the needs of today’s students.
The denser occupancy at Inveresk will create vibrancy, encouraging collaboration and social interactions. The efficient use of space will provide opportunity to increase our offerings, supported by 24/7 accessibility.
The University will act as a steward for the Newnham campus, ensuring that developments at the site take into account community, social and environmental values. The opportunity to build a new campus at Inveresk has created opportunities to reinvigorate Newnham and the Australian Maritime College.
Since commencing this process, the University has secured a number of exciting developments, including a $30 million commitment from the Australian Government to deliver the first stage of the Maritime and Defence Innovation and Design Precinct. This Precinct will be central to the AMC’s future, focusing on maritime systems, human performance and resilience (cognitive, teamwork and food innovation) and survivability in extreme sea environments.
The largest ever Australian Research Council Cooperative Research Centre – the Blue Economy CRC – was also announced recently and will be headquartered at the AMC at Newnham. This project brings together several of the University's particular strengths in aquaculture, marine renewable energy and offshore engineering. We will lead the efforts of 45 research, government and industry parties through an international partnership worth $329 million over ten years.
Work has also commenced on the Newnham campus master plan which will take account of the impacts of these developments. Our community consultation on the plan will also be informed by the City of Launceston’s Northern Suburbs Revitalisation Strategy, ‘My Place, My Future’.
The University already has a significant presence at Inveresk which co-exists comfortably alongside existing facilities. The master planning process for the campus, which is underway, will ensure University facilities work with and add value to the current facilities on site. The City of Launceston is also undertaking planning for the whole of Inveresk to map out the long term development across the entire site.
Current medicine students carry out the majority of their studies at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH). Nursing and other health students also access the LGH at various points in their degree. These students will continue to use the LGH.
TasTAFE shares the goal to lift educational attainment for all Tasmanians and already works closely with the University. This new development provides the opportunity for TasTAFE and the University to explore options for co-location of some programs, better articulation pathways and increased cooperation in course delivery.
Updated 13 March 2020
The University and the City of Launceston have worked collaboratively to develop a parking solution for the whole of the Inveresk Precinct that serves the public demand and provides additional car spaces to meet increased demand due to the relocation of the University. The parking plan responds to demand across the Inveresk precinct and includes the Willis Street site. It provides a multi-location car park response to distribute traffic across the precinct.
The suitability of the proposed parking plan, which includes an expansion of existing car spaces onto the land leased by the Show Society, will be considered by the City of Launceston at its meeting on Thursday March 19. Subject to the City of Launceston’s agreement, the University will develop an 852-space car park in the northern end of the precinct around the Round House and on land occupied by the Show Society. The Show Society is expected to vacate the area following the 2020 Royal Launceston Show, with construction occurring between November 2020 and mid-2021. The development of the car park will be subject to the statutory planning and building development processes.
The car park in the northern end of the precinct will have substantial landscaping and has linkages to current cycle and pedestrian pathways. The car park region has been assessed for heritage values and the existing railway turntable will be retained. The plan can be viewed at the link below.
The northern car park will provide increased capacity to support major events around the Precinct and will be linked by the Tiger Bus service. It also encourages active transport options to and from the city. The University is committed to promoting alternative modes of transport and will work with the community to advance this in future years.
The University will make a substantial investment to provide 1,101 car parking spaces within twelve months to provide car spaces to meet the anticipated demand between 2021 and 2027. This includes the provision of 527 public car spaces which is based upon the Council’s demand analysis. As the University’s student and staff numbers grow towards the goal of 10,000 students, a further 272 spaces will be provided by the University between 2027 and 2032.
The development of the Inveresk campus includes the activation of half of the circle carpark near the QVMAG for community recreational activities, but retains public carparking too. There will be 70 car spaces provided at the Willis Street site for UTAS uasge. The footbridge currently being constructed over the North Esk River linking the Inveresk and Willis Street sites will provide opportunities for easier non-car commuting around the precinct and will also link with anticipated end of trip facilities for bikes.
It is important to design and build - and crucially to innovate - in places just like Inveresk. The challenges of the site are common on a global scale, and the University is confident in the ability of contemporary engineering to address these challenges.
The benefits of Inveresk as a location for educational opportunities extend to the entire community, creating a hive of activity, connections to the city and a destination of choice for locals and visitors to the region.
Flood resilient design and materials will be incorporated on the lower levels of the buildings and flood mitigation, prevention and response will be considered throughout design, construction and occupancy for every part of the new campus.
The ground floors will be elevated 500mm above the existing relative level (RL), considering projected 2090 flood modelling (released by City of Launceston in 2019). The ground floors will be designed to be easily decantable in the event of an evacuation being required.
The University of Tasmania Inveresk/Invermay Planning Report (Flooding) is an independent report which outlines how new development and intensification of existing buildings at Inveresk within the area potentially exposed to flooding can be risk managed in accordance with contemporary flood risk management principles.
The intent of the report is not to justify the University’s relocation but to identify, document and control the associated risks to levels considered acceptable to the community and reflect national best practice.
Key points in the report include:
- Categorisation of flood risk: The prime criterion is the safety of people. The next criterion is, as far as practicable and reasonable to do so, to ensure the structure and materials are flood resistant.
- Likelihood of flooding: Updated flood frequency analysis identified in the 2018 BMT Flood Risk Summary is prudent for consideration during campus design.
- In the event of flooding: Heavy rain forecasts are now possible several days in advance, generating enough information for the Bureau of Meteorology to issue warnings as required. Evacuation is the responsibility of the Tasmanian Police, with action and advice from State Emergency Services and City of Launceston through their well-equipped Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) and knowledge of the levee system and procedures, the most recognised flood control measure in Launceston.
The University is developing a flood emergency management plan which is consistent with City of Launceston’s processes. This plan details risk to life in the event of flooding, forecasts and warnings, pre-flood actions, evacuation and reoccupation timelines and procedures.
The following report was submitted to City of Launceston in June 2019, as part of the development application for Stage 1:
Student accommodation is key to creating a vibrant campus and a great lifestyle for students. The University and the private sector will invest an additional $54 million to develop student accommodation across Inveresk, Willis Street and the CBD. In addition to the 120 existing student apartments at Inveresk (always the first accommodation to fill up), the University is working with private partners to deliver another 270 beds across Inveresk and Willis Street, worth approximately $45 million.
This accommodation will be a series of small, townhouse-style buildings along the spine of the campus. The University has also committed to investing a further $9 million to build accommodation for 50 students in Launceston’s CBD, with another 150 to be developed subject to demand.
We want to support innovation in timber in Tasmania and one way we can do that is to build with timber.This approach will be an enabler for the Tasmanian building and forestry industries to upskill in what is an innovative and growing construction method, highlighting the products and technology that could be developed in Tasmania in the future and informing local industry of the specifications required.
Building with timber is also more sustainable, given timber is a carbon sink compared to other more carbon positive methods. Using cross-laminated timber also means the buildings are lighter and can be built quicker, minimising disruption as prefabrication can be done offsite. Timber will also be used as a feature throughout the interiors.