Page 2050 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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opposite find very hard to understand. But if we want our local universities to thrive on the world stage, we cannot engage in the sort of benign neglect advocated by Mr Coe and his colleagues. In stark contrast, the government is actively assisting the University of Canberra to diversify its operations, to develop the campus and to create and attract job-creating partners to its largely undeveloped 118-hectare site.

Members would be aware that I recently signed an agreement of strategic intent with Professor Parker, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, outlining our joint commitment to the ongoing development and growth of the University of Canberra campus in line with its master plan. This growth is balanced by the agreement to limit non-student residential development on campus to no more than 3,300 residential dwellings and by capping the number of those dwellings offered for sale in any 12-month period to 200. The registration processes provided for in the bill will also allow the government to easily monitor what is happening on site.

This bill will help to cement Canberra as the knowledge capital of the nation. It will pave the way for a billion dollars of new investment, development and job creation on the University of Canberra campus and in the surrounding community.

In the face of the significant challenges to Australia’s higher education sector, the widespread uncertainty about federal policy direction, these developments—this support from the territory—will enable the University of Canberra to unlock new income streams and boost its reserves. These growth opportunities will help the UC to secure its own financial future, while the innovative leasing regime created through this legislation ensures that it can make best use of its perpetual lease without relinquishing ownership.

The creation of innovation clusters in health, sport and technology will foster the social and economic benefits the Canberra community wants and will attract the best minds to live and work in our city. The health precinct will change our city’s health landscape by providing a platform for innovations that address the healthcare challenges of the future, as well as delivering services to the local community through the UC teaching hospital.

Expansion of the sporting commons will support the University of Canberra’s goal to become Australia’s leading university for sport education and research. The technology precinct will foster engagement and collaboration with national and international research partners directly from the UC campus. These projects are at the centre of the university’s planned developments.

The bill establishes a new leasing model for the University of Canberra which will offer the same protections to a sublessee of land as those provided under the Planning and Development Act and the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act. The protections are extended to all subleases of land.

Our world-class higher education institutions simply must continue to attract new ideas and people to our city in the form of students, researchers, developers and entrepreneurs. And the ACT government and this place must play their part to ensure our universities stay ahead of their competition, so that the entire community benefits.

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