Published on 2 September 2016
Construction of a University of the Sunshine Coast campus in the Moreton Bay Region is set to be fast-tracked, with the Queensland Government today declaring the planned university precinct at Petrie a Priority Development Area (PDA).
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced the Government’s support for the former Petrie Paper Mill site to be transformed into a vibrant urban community called “The Mill at Moreton Bay” that will have the university campus at its core.
Ms Trad, who is Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment, said PDA status recognised the area’s potential to drive economic growth, and enabled accelerated planning, approval and development processes.
“The Mill will be an engine room of economic activity, generating $950 million for the Queensland economy and supporting more than 6,000 jobs by 2036 in fields such as education, technology, health and research,” she said.
Ms Trad praised Moreton Bay Regional Council for its vision in planning this exciting project that will also feature a range of commercial, residential and recreational facilities and easy access to public transport.
“This will be a world-class innovation and knowledge precinct. It will be a fantastic piece of social infrastructure,” she said.
“By granting The Mill PDA status, we will partner with Council to accelerate the development of the whole site, ensuring the university campus will be open to students by Semester 1, 2020.”
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland described the PDA announcement as fantastic news for the region’s future.
“PDA status will unlock the full potential of the university’s surrounding land to create a vibrant community hub where people can live, work and play around education,” he said.
“The Mill is a bold new vision for our region and will help us to diversify and future-proof our economy.”
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said he was thrilled by the State Government’s support of the project.
Professor Hill said the new campus would help increase the participation rate of Moreton Bay’s young people in higher education and boost their access to future job opportunities.
“At present, about 35 percent of Moreton school leavers go to university,” he said. “It's over 40 percent on the Sunshine Coast and 50 percent in Brisbane.”