Newnham masterplan will deliver a vibrant future

The University of Tasmania will support the long-term vibrancy of the Newnham campus with a series of key initiatives.

Contained in the developing masterplan for the precinct, its future will be underpinned by government funding commitments in defence and the blue economy, additional University investment in agricultural teaching and research, and the establishment over time of a professional services centre at the site.

“Rather than seeing Newnham diminish as a result of our campus relocation to Inveresk, we believe the masterplan will provide a vision of it as a significant contributor to the life and vitality of Launceston and the wider region,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said.

The University is progressing the Northern Transformation Project – a $300 million redevelopment of its Launceston and Cradle Coast campuses – supported by Federal, State and local governments.

The University will deliver high-quality, contemporary teaching and student activity, and industry-facing research at Inveresk, as part of a highly distinctive new campus alongside Launceston’s city heart.

Newnham will remain home to the Australian Maritime College, which has nationally significant teaching and research strengths, including logistics, naval architecture and defence.

Adding to the AMC’s scale - creating a vibrant, sustainable precinct for the long term – at Newnham, will be the:

  • Federally funded $30 million Defence and Maritime Innovation and Design Precinct
  • $330 million Blue Economy Co-operative Research Centre (CRC)
  • Investment in agricultural research infrastructure, over time leading to the headquartering of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture in Launceston
  • The establishment of a professional services centre which will support the breadth of the University.

Professor Black said the agricultural research presence and the professional services centre would be developed in consultation with staff and industry stakeholders.

“Our strategy commits us to be a university which operates in a regionally networked way,” Professor Black said. ”That means having enough people in each of our locations to ensure they are dynamic, exciting places that are embedded in ways which support the local community and economy.

“And it means having research strengths locally which can leverage the distinct regional advantages of the State’s North-West, the North and the South.

“In the North, that includes food, farming, maritime and defence.”

The North-West will come to have greater focus and strengths in engineering and technology, particularly where it intersects with agriculture, advanced manufacturing, ICT and sensing technologies.

In the South, the University will continue to be a key partner in the Antarctic research community, with a focus on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, climate change, and fisheries and aquaculture.

This includes the consolidation of those activities now undertaken at IMAS Launceston to IMAS Taroona, in Hobart, further supporting its development as a research precinct supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Tasmania.

Professor Black said the University’s presence would provide the building blocks at Newnham for a dynamic mixed-use precinct which would support the future of Launceston’s northern suburbs.

“These ideas are being developed in partnership with government and community, and in line with other initiatives, such as the Launceston City Deal,” he said.

“The goal of the City Deal is to make Launceston one of the most liveable and innovative regional cities in the nation by 2027.

“We share that goal, and this masterplan, and the way it will help shape the future of Newnham and Inveresk, will be a vital part of realising that.”

The masterplan will be finalised and publicly released in coming months.

Pictured at today’s Regionally Networked Strategy announcement, from left, TIA’s Head of Horticulture, Dr Fiona Kerslake, Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black, Dr Gemma Lewis from the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Launceston) Professor Dom Geraghty.

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