Soil testing starts at Inveresk as part of Northern Transformation Plan

MOVING FORWARD: Soil tester Lewis Gardner, Treasurer Peter Gutwein, Andrew Battiscombe and UTAS Pro-vice Chancellor David Adams
MOVING FORWARD: Soil tester Lewis Gardner, Treasurer Peter Gutwein, Andrew Battiscombe and UTAS Pro-vice Chancellor David Adams

Soil tests have shored-up a development application timeline of September for the UTAS Inveresk campus.

The drill works that started on Friday were a key step towards the goal to begin construction of the University of Tasmania’s new campus by the end of the year.

If all goes to plan the application could be submitted by “around September”, UTAS pro-vice-chancellor Professor David Adams said.

The drilling will determine whether there were any significant issues with the ground.

Professor Adams said it was a significant step forward for the Northern Transformation Plan.

“We’re getting to a point now where we have increasing confidence in our timelines,” he said.

“We can’t control the results of soil testing, but we are reasonably confident we will be able to build here.”

The testing is one of multiple background checks required before UTAS can progress with a development application.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the soil tests symbolised a major step forward for infrastructure within the region.

“This is the single largest construction project that has been attempted in the history of the city,” he said.

“Not only will it have broad positive ramifications for the economy, but it signifies that education is the key to our future.”

The soil drilling comes as UTAS invite expressions of interests for architects who may be interested in helping with the design of the campus. Professor Adams said it was the first part of a two-stage process. 

“The expressions of interests for the principle consultants will give us an indication of who is available,” he said.

“From there, we will get out our formal requests for tender, which will hopefully happen before Easter.”

The state government has released $10 million of the $60 million it committed to help finance the development application for the project.

Mr Gutwein said the next allotment of funding would be dependent on whether terms of an agreement between the state government and UTAS were met.