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University of Tasmania campuses named priority project

The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) has called for civil construction skills to be listed as essential on the Federal Government's National Skills Needs List to help the sector attract new workers and upskill the existing workforce.

A $300 million proposal to build new University of Tasmania campuses in Burnie and Launceston has been added to Infrastructure Australia’s Priority list.

The Infrastructure Priority List is a pipeline of nationally-significant projects for all levels of government to choose from. The University of Tasmania’s Northern Transformation Project and Hobart Science and Technology Precinct project are now listed as a Priority Project, meaning a business case assessment has proved they will have significant benefits to the community.

Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, said Priority Projects support better project selection by ensuring Australia’s governments are presented with the best available evidence when making funding decisions.

“The Northern Transformation Program involves relocating existing campuses in Launceston and Burnie to new inner-city locations with modern, world-class teaching and research facilities, and delivering new degrees and courses that better meet the needs of students and industry,” Madew said.

“It is a nationally-significant investment opportunity that will drive better community outcomes by encouraging more local, interstate and international students to attend university.”

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Madew said education outcomes are significantly poorer in Tasmania relative to the rest of Australia, and student enrolments are continuing to fall across both campuses.

“The existing campuses at Launceston and Burnie are nearing the end of their usable lives, are poorly located for students and staff, and constrain the university’s ability to deliver the technology-enhanced learning environments that students want,” she said.

“The proposed relocation will help to deliver vibrant, accessible and flexible campuses that will attract students, while also enabling the university to develop courses that better respond to existing skills shortages and the social, economic and technical needs of communities.”

The University of Tasmania has developed mitigation and monitoring systems for a range of potential risks, including flooding at the proposed campus at Inveresk in Launceston.

To manage the risk, the university is planning to build the structures with higher floors and no habitable spaces within 2090 flood modelling levels.

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