Construction of the University of Tasmania’s future waterfront campus at Burnie’s West Park continues to progress, with the upper level now being installed.
As the development arrives at the next key stage of works, partners of the project inspected site activity today.
The once-in-a-generation development will help improve educational outcomes and strengthen the north-west as a distinctive learning destination.
It will create vibrancy closer to Burnie’s CBD, foster economic benefits, and pave the way for increased community and industry partnerships that enable the region to prosper.
The West Park campus forms part of the Northern Transformation Program, and is being funded through contributions by the Federal Government, Tasmanian Government, Burnie City Council and the university.
It will be the first building completed through the program, which also encompasses a new campus at Inveresk.
Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan welcomed the progress on construction.
“The new facilities will support the delivery of new degrees and industry-aligned courses, increasing opportunities for students in northern Tasmania to go to university and gain job-ready qualifications,” Mr Tehan said.
“The campus at Burnie’s West Park is designed to help deliver education and research that supports the north-west – courses that align with local economic needs and strengths, and research to benefit and build local industries.
“Our investment in Burnie builds on other Government investments in higher education in Tasmania, including $130 million towards the new Inveresk campus.”
Tasmanian Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson said the boost to the local economy, the new student population living and working in Burnie will mean local businesses will see their incomes grow and jobs in much needed sectors filled.
“It is great to see Tasmanian company Fairbrother awarded the construction contract for this project, supporting local jobs,” Mr Ferguson said.
“What we are building here is a world-class teaching and research facility that will attract more young Tasmanians to pursue tertiary education to gain skills and qualifications for a fulfilling career.
“I look forward to watching the progress of this project closely.”
Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said: “The north-west, west coast and King Island are unique and I welcome UTAS’s commitment to focus on leveraging off the strengths of the region. This will ensure that the courses offered meet the specific needs of the local community, align with our future workforce needs and continue to attract students from across Australia and the world to Burnie.”
Burnie City Council Mayor Steve Kons said that the construction of the new campus was a demonstration of how a visionary idea could translate into a great outcome for the community.
“I am pleased that Council supported the provision of land to enable this high-profile project to proceed,” Mayor Kons said.
“A regional campus will provide dividends to our community for years to come.”
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the campus would be a legacy for the Cradle Coast region and its communities in the many years to come.
“The West Park campus is helping us realise our mission of being a University for Tasmania which works closely with communities to identify and address the issues that matter,” Professor Black said.
“It will improve access to education, ensure equity for regional students, and offer distinctive learning experiences that prepare and position them to make positive contributions to Tasmania, and from Tasmania to the world.
“The project is not just a commitment to the Cradle Coast, it is part of a commitment to a whole island to support its ongoing development and growth while ensuring its communities are healthy, prosperous and sustainable.
“It is tremendous to see Cradle Coast being the first region to benefit from the Northern Transformation Program, which will have long-lasting, positive outcomes for the state’s north.
“Amid these uncertain times, construction has continued, providing the local workforce with employment while contributing to the regional economy.”
The West Park campus is a $50 million project. Overall, the build is supporting more than 100 local jobs and there is scope for this figure to increase as work progresses.
Construction firm Fairbrother will continue overseeing the development, and site works will be undertaken in a staged approach.
Fairbrother General Manager Kurt Arnold said: “We are excited to be bringing to life University of Tasmania’s vision for its Cradle Coast Campus. This is an innovative, landmark development, not just for Burnie, but for the whole north-west coast and we are proud to be a part of this significant education investment.
“We have a long-standing history of partnering with the University of Tasmania on projects all around the state and, in these uncertain times, this Cradle Coast Campus goes towards providing some stability and certainty for north-west coast workers in the construction industry.”
Features of the new campus include contemporary teaching and research facilities, informal spaces for student and community activities, a central courtyard and an environmentally-sustainable green roof.
The development is scheduled for completion around mid-2021. New regionally-distinctive courses being offered in the region through the Northern Transformation Program will include an accelerated Bachelor of Business (commencing at existing university sites in February 2021), and the accreditation process is well underway to enable the Bachelor of Nursing to also commence in 2021.
Artist impressions of the campus can be downloaded here.
Further information can be found at https://www.utas.edu.au/northern-transformation/westpark-campus.