University of Tasmania relationship

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) and City of Hobart relationship is a key pillar in the City's vision for Hobart as a smart, liveable and investment ready city. The ability of thousands of people to learn, work and live in our city will help drive innovation, the commercialisation of research, and help us embrace the use of smart technology.

The relationship aims to:

  • stimulate small business and quiet parts of the Hobart CBD
  • inject $550 million into the Hobart economy
  • facilitate developments that are world-leading models of sustainability
  • improve access to higher education for Tasmanians
  • grow green spaces and places for people to engage in and enjoy the city
  • create additional housing in Sandy Bay and in the heart of Hobart
  • upgrade sporting facilities and infrastructure that will be accessible to locals and visitors as well as staff and students
  • embed improved natural environment protection as well as research and education precincts around the City
  • increase access and amenity in city buildings
  • embrace new technologies and investment opportunities
  • generate walkable urban renewal.

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

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.

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.

Sandy Bay Masterplan

In October 2021, the City of Hobart submitted a response to the UTAS Consultation on the Sandy Bay Masterplan

See further information on the following University of Tasmania websites: