La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus will be rebuilt as a $5 billion suburb accommodating some 12,000 residents, commercial, retail, medical and cultural facilities.
A more efficiently planned college with the potential to cater for more than 40,000 students will also be developed on the 235 hectare block, about 16 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD.
The University City of the Future plan was launched yesterday by Victoria’s Minister for Industry and Employment, Ben Carroll MP.
A partnership between the college and the government, the blueprint will begin with a jointly funded scoping and feasibility study intended to accelerate redevelopment plans.
“We are turning our campus ‘inside out’, welcoming our local communities to new and dynamic spaces where community, industry, students and staff will work, live and learn,” La Trobe vice chancellor Professor John Dewar said.
Mr Carroll added “The University City of the Future is a gamechanger for Melbourne’s north and has the potential to create 20,000 jobs and drive $5 billion in investment over the next 10 years.
“Victoria has some of the best universities in the world – this development will help to cement that reputation and drive economic growth for our northern suburbs”.
Victorians head to the polls on November 24 (story continues below).
The University City of the Future aims to attract private investment into seven development sub-precincts:
• Residential accommodation for a population similar to the regional towns of Bairnsdale, Echuca or Colac;
• A city-centre with a mix of commercial, retail and community facilities;
• A private hospital as the first stage of a Health and Wellbeing Hub, set to include aged care, childcare and super-clinic complexes. The college announced it has chosen ASX-listed Healthscope as the preferred hospital operator;
• Education facilities;
• A “world class” research and innovation precinct “leveraging La Trobe’s research and innovation strengths in agriculture, food and fibre, health and wellbeing and digital technologies and cybersecurity”;
• Finalising the third stage of La Trobe’s $150 million Sports Park, which is expected to attract more than 10,000 community visitors each weekend.
“The government partnership with La Trobe on the University City of the Future complements the state government’s recent election commitment to build a new suburban rail link, including a new La Trobe station at the University’s Bundoora campus,” Mr Dewar said.
“The proposed new rail link and La Trobe station will be fantastic for students and staff”.
Additionally, La Trobe University confirmed that it will team with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to deliver a food innovation hub.
“The details of the [RMIT] collaboration will be subject to further announcement” Mr Dewar said.