Why we are asking you to vote 'NO' 

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Background information

Improve access

Being located closer to the university is not the issue. Research suggests, in Tasmania the biggest barrier for young people is the completion of Year 12 and attaining a satisfactory ATAR score.

Stimulate small business

This claim is unsupported by research and disputed by CBD traders whose strong opposition forced UTAS to withdraw a CBD development application to partially close Melville Street to create a 'parklet'. The impact of moving 300 staff and 3000 students into the CBD on parking and traffic congestion has not been fully considered by UTAS in their relocation plans.

Grow the local economy

Claims staff and students will contribute $15 million annually to the economy is misleading.

Long term city trader and spokesperson, Denis McLoughlin (speaker no.8 at rally), has repeatedly challenged this statement and says $15 million equates to approximately 4 days of CBD trading. Currently, annual CBD trade is around $100 million dollars. UTAS' presence in the CBD will reduce access to everyday shoppers and workers who will take their business elsewhere potentially creating a downturn in the economy. Further, money spent could be just as easily be spent in Sandy Bay to rectify years of neglect and restore the existing campus as a drawcard for future students from across Tasmania and all over the world.​

Achieve sustainability goals

Demolishing a signficant number of existing buildings, many still fit-for-purpose and in some cases new or reburbished as recently as 2018, is hardly sustainable practice.

  • more to come

Create new chapter for Sandy Bay

UTAS' vision for the Sandy Bay campus is, among other things, to build 2700 dwellings (as many homes as all of Blackmans Bay) in buildings up to 8 storeys high at a density 10 times that of surrounding suburbs. The HCC has told UTAS that it's plan is 3000 car parks short and that it's claim to provide attainable housing is 'weak'. UTAS has no plans to address the impact of thousands of additional cars that will choke Sandy Bay Road, Regent Street and Churchill Avenue.

Enhance green space

UTAS plan to replace extensive parkland and trees, which are a feature of the Sandy Bay campus, with numerous multi-storey apartment buildings. And, in the CBD their current efforts to 'green' their existing spaces consist of potted plants and artifical lawn.

Sandy Bay is no longer fit-for-purpose

UTAS' own 2018 report shows that around 60% of existing campus buildings are in 'good' to 'fair' condition. The cost of refurbishing versus relocating is about the same. Unique immovable collections and equipment will have to remain at Sandy Bay, suggesting students will have to travel between the CBD and Sandy Bay to complete their studies.

Staff morale

National Tertiary Education Union survey data and media reports point to low levels of staff morale and high levels of stress and dissatisfaction with the UTAS plan to relocate to the CBD.

Financial survival

UTAS offers no evidence to suggest relocation is necessary for the viability of the university. In fact, UTAS publicly claims that it is in a strong financial position.

UTAS claim they are 'consolidating'

UTAS repeatedly use the term 'consolidation' when talking about their relocation to the CBD. They also claim 4 out of 10 students are already studying in the CBD. The term 'consolidation' is misleading:

  • Current UTAS buildings not located at Sandy Bay are not in the CBD. Domain House, Menzies Institue for Medical Research, The Hedberg, The Art School at Hunter Street and IMAS at Salamanca all sit outside the CBD boundary.

  • Arts and the Conservatorium have never been located on the Sandy Bay campus.

  • Menzies and IMAS make sense as they are co-located with RHH and CSIRO respectively.

  • What does not make sense is UTAS renting not-fit-for-purpose office space in the KPMG and Vodafone buildings for other faculties/schools when these could have remained at Sandy Bay.