Construction of Launceston’s largest ever infrastructure project will begin in 2020 after the University of Tasmania secured planning approval for Stage One of its expanded campus at Inveresk.
The development will put higher education at Launceston’s core and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.
The City of Launceston approved development applications for the Library and Student Experience building and a pedestrian bridge across the North Esk River at its October 17 and November 14 meetings respectively.
With Stage One now proceeding to tenders and construction next year, planning is well underway for the remaining stages of the $300 million Northern Transformation program.
Meanwhile, following approval of the development application in April, early-works have now started on a regionally embedded campus at West Park in Burnie.
University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Launceston) Professor Dom Geraghty said momentum and excitement was building for the project.
“It’s a very exciting stage – after years of advocacy, planning and design, 2020 will see buildings begin to rise at Inveresk,” Professor Geraghty said.
“The Northern Transformation is a collaboration between the University, the Australian and State Governments and the City of Launceston; together we have shaped a project that will have a profound impact on the region.
“Our new campus will lift educational attainment, revitalise the Inveresk Precinct and the CBD, and deliver a significant economic boost to the North throughout the construction period and beyond.
The tender process for the Library and Student Experience building will begin in January with construction due to start in the middle of the year. A call for tenders is already in the market for the bridge, a design and construct project.
Already the biggest single infrastructure project in Launceston’s history, the economic stimulus from the Northern Transformation Program will grow further with the University attracting additional private investment to fund new student accommodation.
Accommodation will be delivered on the Inveresk campus and in Launceston’s CBD in developments worth $54 million.
Professor Geraghty said the move to Inveresk also created enormous opportunities at Newnham, with community consultation and master planning due to commence next year.
“Newnham is already growing into a globally significant centre of excellence, building on the strengths of the Australian Maritime College,” he said.
“The Australian Government has committed $30 million to develop the Maritime Defence Innovation and Design Precinct at the campus. Already Thales, one of the world’s largest defence contractors, has signed an MOU to be an anchor tenant.
“And the headquarters for the $329 million Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre will also be based at Newnham where it will spearhead efforts to revolutionise the seafood industry through the integration of aquaculture with offshore engineering and renewable energy.
“These are examples of the ways the expertise and facilities we’ve built here in Tasmania make a significant impact on the global stage.”
More information about the Northern Transformation program is available at www.utas.edu.au/northern-transformation.