UC reforms attract campus investment and growth

This campus renewal and development will help attract top students and researchers and new jobs and investment to Canberra.

The University of Canberra will thrive and expand under new planning reforms to help it develop its campus and attract a billion dollars in investment to the ACT.

The University of Canberra and Other Leases Amendment Bill, together with Territory Plan Variation 347, which opens for consultation this weekend, are part of an ambitious program of reforms to boost the higher education sector and secure Canberra’s position as Australia’s education and knowledge capital.

For the University to continue its growth and remain competitive, the planning controls which govern development on the campus need to be broadened. Updating planning legislation will make the University more competitive by giving it the same commercial opportunities as other universities, including the Australian National University. This campus renewal and development will help attract top students and researchers and new jobs and investment to Canberra.

The Legislative amendments will allow the University of Canberra to sublease land and allow buildings on campus to be unit titled. The proposed changes will allow the University to continue with its planned development. They will boost the tertiary sector while driving growth in the city and regional economy through the development of commercial, retail and residential developments.

The Territory Plan variation will broaden the uses of the University of Canberra campus to enable more commercial development. It will allow the University of Canberra to diversify its services to provide high quality facilities for staff and students as well as the broader ACT community. As a result, UC will be able to provide healthcare, sporting facilities and housing, plus retail and commercial services. 

My government is committed to ensuring our tertiary education institutions are given every opportunity to thrive and expand. Building our universities is an important part of diversifying our economy by playing to our strengths as one of the world’s top student cities with a strong higher education and research sector.  Together, they currently add $2.75 billion to our economy each year and support almost 16,000 jobs.  Canberra is one of the world’s top student cities.

Planning Minister Mick Gentleman said:

“These flexible leasing arrangements will allow UC to develop its 117 hectare campus into a world class educational facility.

“These legislative and plan changes will create a new leasing model for subleasing of land at the University of Canberra will encourage more investment, more jobs and allow growth in the student population

“Once approved, the Bill and DV347 will allow the UC to work collaboratively with government, developers and the community, draw national and international investment into the region, and encourage organic growth and flow-on effects of increased demand for goods and services across the ACT. 

“The Government has ensured that safe guards for the community be continued for any proposed development with a development application still being required. New subleases will be approved by the planning and land authority.

“These changes show the government is serious about supporting the tertiary education sector and encouraging investment in the ACT through responsible and innovative urban renewal,” Minister Gentleman concluded.

The community will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes from Saturday 16 May 2015 at www.timetotalk.act.gov.au