I have said from the start that I support the UTAS relocation so long as all reasonable community concerns are addressed. So far they have not been, as evidenced by the widespread community concern with the project, especially regarding the future use of the Sandy Bay site.
Personally I’ve asked hundreds of people about the relocation and the great majority have expressed concerns to me of one nature or another. My soundings go well beyond those people involved in the campaigns for and against the project.
The University needs to release full details and better explain, and justify, the rationale for the relocation. It also needs to be open-minded about adjusting the plan in response to community feedback.
The State Government and Hobart City Council need to ensure that a robust and transparent approval process is applied to all aspects of the relocation, including genuine consultation with the people of greater Hobart. Failing this, the community has every right to expect independent scrutiny of the project.
Although the Federal Government has no authority over the relocation and has not been asked to fund it, no funding should be forthcoming in future unless the project can show that it has genuinely achieved a social licence.