Problem to be addressed
Tasmania faces a number of economic challenges. The state’s rate of economic growth is significantly below the Australian average. Unemployment is relatively high, productivity is relatively low, as are rates of higher education attainment and population growth.
Hobart’s CBD lacks the scale and diversity necessary to support strong population and economic development in high-value industries. Increased densification and urban development in Hobart’s CBD, coupled with development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related industries, may help attract new industries to locate in Hobart. This could, in turn, help increase economic and population growth.
The University of Tasmania’s existing science, technology, engineering and mathematics facilities at the Sandy Bay campus are fragmented, and nearing the end of their usable life. The facilities struggle to attract Tasmanian students, and have very limited appeal to interstate and international students. The facilities lack the modern technical infrastructure that characterises a high-end research environment.
The project would relocate the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology from the existing campus at Sandy Bay to a purpose-built facility for education, research and training in the Hobart CBD.
The proposed 45,050 m2 facility would initially accommodate 3,000 students and 700 staff. The university anticipates that the project would result in a 60% increase in undergraduate student demand, and enable improved research outcomes. The project would be supported by ongoing university and government programs and policies to increase higher-education participation in Tasmania. The development would also contribute to the urban regeneration of Hobart’s CBD.
The project is supported by the Tasmanian Government.
Economic, social and environmental value
The primary benefit of the project is derived from attracting new students to tertiary education. Other benefits include improved accessibility and amenity for existing students, research benefits and development of the Hobart CBD.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.95, with a net present value of $364 million (7% real discount rate).
Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2016 business case) $400 million (single point cost estimate, nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution To be determined | State government contribution To be determined | Private sector contribution To be determined