Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive Neil Grose says he is concerned the University of Tasmania’s $260 million move to Inveresk is being held up by the future curriculum not yet confirmed.
However the university’s executive director of transformation, Craig Barling, has dismissed Mr Grose’s concerns, saying the university is “comfortable” with the relocation plan’s progression.
Mr Grose said the nature of the future curriculum was taking too long to be established, which in turn was holding back the planning and construction of new university buildings.
“While it is of course critical to the success of the university to get the course structure right, the Chamber is concerned that the time being taken to determine the curriculum is setting back the project further than anticipated,” he said.
“This in turn is delaying the planning for the buildings and slowing the project in moving to the construction phase.”
Mr Barling said partners in the program had been working “diligently and cooperatively” throughout the year and the university was “committed” to getting the project right.
“A project of this magnitude is particularly complex and takes time,” he said.
“By not rushing this process, we have been able to expand our footprint for teaching and learning and community use of the space to ensure a better outcome for all – something we take great pride in.
“We need to be clear: We know our timeline and we are comfortable with where things are.”
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the state government was “working closely” with the university on the relocation project.
“The development is on track and on schedule with construction work due to start next year,” he said.
Mr Grose reiterated the Chamber’s full support for the university relocation to Inveresk, saying it was “a natural fit” for Launceston.
“The building process is a key element to the economic development potential for Launceston,” he said.