University of Tasmania relationship

As home to the University of Tasmania (UTAS), the City of Hobart provides an opportunity for thousands of people to learn, work and live in our city.

The City's relationship with UTAS is formally documented in a number of key strategic documents;

Timeline: Consultation | Steps | Decisions | Reports(PDF, 102KB)

Governance Forum Meeting Notes

On 7 June 2019, the Vice Chancellor of University of Tasmania (UTAS) wrote to the General Manager of the City of Hobart proposing the establishment of a governance forum between the University and the City of Hobart.

On June 17 2019, the City of Hobart Council passed a unanimous resolution to appoint the Lord Mayor and General Manager to the City of Hobart and UTAS Governance Forum. The resolution also noted that the Chairman of the City Planning Committee and the Finance and Governance Committee be appointed as members also.

The Governance meetings were established to manage conversations between UTAS and the City considering potential growing numbers of students studying and living in the CBD area. The conversations evolved over time as did the nature of the meetings.

The group has not met since September 2021. In June 2022 council noted that the need for these discussions was no longer current or appropriate and recommended the City of Hobart and UTAS Governance forum be disbanded.

At the Council Meeting on 27 June 2022, Council passed a resolution to write to the University requesting it provide permission for the public release of the relevant notes taken from the City of Hobart and UTAS Governance Forum meetings.

The Vice Chancellor Rufus Black approved the release of these notes on 29 July 2022.

Please note that the following meetings did not have notes recorded:

  • 5 July 2019
  • 13 August 2019
  • 3 March 2020

Redactions Key:

  • Black – Redactions made by UTAS
  • Yellow – Redactions by City of Hobart

The University has redacted some commercial information and names of officers.

The City of Hobart has redacted information displaying Council Officer names.

City of Hobart and UTAS Governance Forum Agendas and Notes(PDF, 4MB)

Relationship to the Central Hobart Precincts Plan

The City of Hobart is currently preparing a Central Hobart Precinct Plan (CHPP). The CHPP has a 20-year horizon and its objective is to provide a blueprint for development, investment and infrastructure for the central area of Hobart over the next 20 years.

Background studies for the plan identify that there are significant underutilised areas of land that will likely be developed over the life of the plan, including those currently owned by UTAS, which represent only around 2% of the area of the Hobart CBD.

UTAS CBD Land Holdings Summary as at 1 December 2021(PDF, 218KB)

The CHPP highlights that redevelopment in the whole CHPP area will result in the need for improvements around the provision of open space, planting of trees, and considers a range of issues such as future infrastructure provision including that required for traffic, parking, and more sustainable forms of transport. The CHPP will be the framework through which the City's future takes shape – including budgets and public expenditure.

The CHPP Discussion Paper was released for broad community and key stakeholder consultation from October to December 2021. Feedback on the Discussion Paper is currently being considered and a draft of the precincts plan being prepared.

The UTAS City move forms part of the CHPP, specifically around:

  • City-shaping goal 1: A World Class Capital City, particularly – Idea 3: A place to learn and work
  • City-shaping goal 2: Public spaces to engage and enjoy
  • City-shaping goal 4: Connected and accessible city.

UTAS Campus and Central Hobart Precincts

UTAS Campus and Central Hobart Precincts


Hobart City Council role as a planning authority

The Council has a function as a planning authority in which it must consider individual development applications and make decisions based on legislation, the provisions of the planning scheme and the evidence it has before it. Ultimately, any application when finalised and the qualified advice from Council officers on the merits or otherwise of an application, is provided on the public record. Furthermore the determination of the application by elected members is conducted in open Council. There is also opportunity for members of the public to provide a representation on the merits or otherwise of the proposal when amendments are publicly notified. All this information is taken into account when making a decision on individual applications.

Any rezoning application is determined by the Tasmanian Planning Commission. The City forms a view on any rezoning application however the ultimate authority to determine any scheme amendments and rezoning belongs to the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Elected Member obligations

Elected members have obligations around the declaration of interests in Part 5 of the Local Government Act 1993 ("the Act"). Section 48 (2) of the Act requires an elected member to declare any interest that the elected member has in a matter before any discussion on that matter commences. In accordance with the requirement in section 54 of the Act, the CEO maintains a register of interests of elected members where the elected member has notified the CEO of that interest.

It remains a matter for each elected member to determine whether they have an interest in a matter and fulfil their obligations to declare it.

Relationship to the Hobart City Deal

The Hobart City Deal will support the ongoing development of Hobart as a smart, liveable and investment ready city. This will include actively considering opportunities to support improved educational, liveability and economic outcomes.

Within the term of the City Deal, opportunities to enhance liveability and pursue investment, innovation and STEM in Hobart will be enhanced through improved pathways, partnerships and facilities.

City Deal partners and the University of Tasmania will work together to take advantage of new technologies and investment opportunities that enhance the city's liveability, and plan for and invest in the infrastructure that can support it. In parallel, the University of Tasmania is considering options to develop an enhanced STEM presence, including the best approach and location to deliver programs and services. City Deal partners will continue engagement with the University of Tasmania to support the relocation of the southern campus.

City Deal Report

As part of the Council decision in relation to UTAS Notice of Motion on 27 June 2022, the Council resolved as follows:

That subject to qualified advice the Council make public the relevant report, with appropriate redactions if required, prior to the City Deal being agreed to which was put before a special closed meeting of the Finance and Governance Committee in December 2018.

The report was confidential prior to the City Deal being signed and launched by all parties, however given the passage of time that requirement no longer exists.

Hobart City Deal Report - December 2018(PDF, 2MB)

Rates equivalency

Under section 87(1)(d) of the Local Government Act 1993 (Tas) (LG Act), all land [in the Hobart municipal area] is rateable except land or part of land owned and occupied exclusively for a charitable purpose, which is exempt from general rates (the charitable rates exemption). Under the Charities Act 2013, education meets the definition of a charitable purpose and therefore the University, as an education provider is not required to General pay rates to the City of Hobart on such land and buildings. It is however required to pay service rates and charges.

While UTAS is not required to pay General rates for those buildings, the Rates Equivalency Agreement between the City of Hobart and UTAS provides that UTAS will pay in the circa of $3.8 million to the City of Hobart for the 10-year life of the Agreement (excluding annual CPI increase and future developer contributions). This figure is an approximate equivalent of the General rates that UTAS would have paid on buildings that they are now using and developing in the City of Hobart.

Should the University purchase any additional land which is charitable rates exempt it will also attract the rates equivalency payment. UTAS has also agreed to pay development contributions in situations where Council intends to undertake works near land owned by the University and those works will directly benefit the University.

Public meeting in response to Save UTAS Campus petition

For information about the public meeting held on Wednesday 11 May 2022 in response to the Save UTAS Campus petition please visit the special event page we created.

Here you will find details of the meeting, as well as a number of important documents and a recording of the event.

Save UTAS Campus public meeting