The masterplan for the $260 million redevelopment of the University of Tasmania precinct at Inveresk has been unveiled by the project partners.
The Commonwealth Government, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Government, City of Launceston and architects McBride Charles Ryan have unveiled the blueprint for what will be the single largest infrastructure investment in Launceston’s history.
Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor said he was proud of the Commonwealth’s $130 million investment in the project.
“This is a much-awaited masterplan, reflecting the community’s desire for a vibrant, accessible university precinct, attractive to the entire Launceston community,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.
“The University of Tasmania redevelopment sits at the heart of the Launceston City Deal. As well as generating jobs and providing quality higher education, it will deliver vital support for local industry innovation.”
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rather said it was an exciting milestone which would underpin the institution’s vision for social and economic revitalisation in Tasmania’s regions.
“There has been a high level of anticipation for the release of the masterplan and we are pleased to be able to present to the community the vision and aspirations for the relocation of the University’s operations to Inveresk,” Professor Rathjen said.
“We are not proposing to build a traditional university campus. This masterplan outlines a dynamic higher education and research ecosystem as part of the Inveresk precinct and the beating heart of Launceston as a university city for the future.
“It sets out a vision that incorporates modern, fit-for-purpose teaching and learning spaces a short walk to the CBD, and research facilities focused on distinctive fields of academic endeavour to drive better economic outcomes in northern Tasmania.
“Strong partnership at all levels of government have brought us to this exciting stage. The plan has been developed with the City of Launceston, and engagement with the community and industry form the foundation for the project’s success.”
Architecture firm McBride Charles Ryan has developed an enhanced vision of how a modern, inner-city precinct should be realised, informed by feedback from key Launceston stakeholders.
The masterplan includes the construction of three main University buildings, each complementing the other in providing density and definition for the precinct to be vibrant and dynamic into the future. It also includes the construction of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge linking the Willis St site to the Inveresk Precinct.
Tasmanian Treasurer Peter Gutwein said: “This project will be an absolute game-changer for the north of the State and I encourage the community to have their say and get behind what is a terrific opportunity for the region.
“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Office of the Coordinator-General, which has helped drive this project on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.”
The City of Launceston welcomes the release of the University masterplan and vision for an inner-city campus at Inveresk, with Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten saying he believed the proposal represented an exciting intergenerational opportunity for Launceston to become a true university city.
“We are pleased the University is eager to engage with the wider community on its vision for the inner-city campus,” Mayor van Zetten said.
“It is pleasing that this engagement process will occur prior to the University lodging its development application so that the community is aware of the University’s vision and how the city and greater region can continue to enjoy the Inveresk site into the future.”
Mayor van Zetten said the Council was working collaboratively with the University to address high-priority issues related to the precinct plan, including a traffic and parking strategy, and a place-making strategy.
“As we move from masterplan to development application, the University and the City of Launceston will continue to work on these key issues of traffic, parking and ensuring the Inveresk precinct deliver for both partners and the community,” he said.
Following community feedback, the University will move to submit a development application to the City of Launceston to enable the project to progress.
Through the Launceston City Deal the Commonwealth Government, Tasmanian Government and City of Launceston are working together with local partners to position Launceston as one of Australia’s most livable and innovative regional cities.