1. Introduction | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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1. Introduction


The 2012 Campus Master Plan provides a comprehensive review and revision of the planning strategies for the University of the Sunshine Coast.

It re-examines the ongoing relevance and future implications of the planning principles originally devised for the institution in 1994, and those of previous planning reviews which have been undertaken at five yearly intervals, most recently in 2006-7.

While basing a number of its key principles on the legacy provided by earlier phases of campus planning, the University is rapidly evolving and also requires planning guidance responsive to the many aspirations being voiced for its future.

These encompass the development needs of its physical and natural environment, its buildings, academic facilities and campus infrastructure, as well as a number of the less tangible goals and expectations held by its growing community of academic staff and students.


The planning process commenced in mid-2011 with a series of consultations between the master planners and key stakeholders, including discussions with representatives of organisations both directly affiliated with the University of the Sunshine Coast, and those from the wider community who share an interest and active concern for the institution’s future growth.

Consultations took place during June and July of 2011, and included discussion with representatives from the following groups, both internal and external to the University:

01 June 2011

Executive Group (Session 1)

21 June 2011

Executive Group (Session 2)
Senior Staff Advisory Group: Heads of School and Directors (Session 1)
Senior Staff Advisory Group: Heads of School and Directors (Session 2)
Research Management and Research Degrees Committee
Learning, Teaching and Management Committee
Planning and Resources Committee and Council

22 June 2011

Student Liaison Committee
Sustainability Advisory Committee
Regional Engagement Advisory Committee
Indigenous Advisory Committee
Foundation Board

23 June 2011

Sunshine Coast Council
State Government Agencies
Members of Parliament and Local Councillors
Local College Principals
Executive Briefing

11 July 2011

Architects and Quantity Surveyors
Builders and Contractors
Sippy Downs and District Community Association
USC Sports Clubs and Local Community Sports Clubs

12 July 2011

Business Groups
Sunshine Coast Council and Energex
Capital Programmes and Operations Staff

A number of additional comments were received via email, and communicated during two Open Forums conducted at the University of the Sunshine Coast on the 22 and 23 of June 2011.

The consultative process inevitably exposed some differences of opinion, as well as areas of consensus.

The consultations suggested several core areas and issues for planning consideration, as well as establishing potential directions by which such concerns could be usefully examined. The natural environment of the campus and its surrounds was repeatedly emphasised as of paramount importance to the University’s future wellbeing, and its present success and institutional identity.

A number of the more specific considerations which arose through consultation were linked to the vision, values and strategic priorities given expression in the University of the Sunshine Coast Strategic Plan 2011 – 2105, and were together subsequently distilled into a series of planning goals.


The 2012 Campus Master Plan begins with a statement of its fundamental objectives. These are aligned with the University’s four overarching strategic priorities, expressed in its Strategic Plan 2011 – 2105 and the development scheduled in the Strategic Asset Management Plan 2012-2016.

The relationship between the strategic priorities and the opinions expressed during the consultation process, are then clarified through their organisation into a number of basic planning goals.

The wider influences bearing on the University campus are then considered, with discussion focusing on the transportation strategies being proposed, or implemented, in the broader context of the Sunshine Coast region.

Fundamental to the direction established by the original campus master plan was consideration of the site's landscape and natural systems: the local soil and topography, water bodies, flora and fauna.

These considerations, which have remained central to subsequent phases of planning, are reiterated in the 2012 Campus Master Plan, as considerations regarding the ecological context of the campus underpin the subsequent planning initiatives for the University's buildings, academic facilities and physical infrastructure.

These are prefaced by discussion of the campus' transportation needs, including the difficulties that have arisen through on-campus car parking. Transportation systems are considered at a variety of scales, ranging from long term, regional strategies to the infrastructure requirements of pedestrians and cyclists on campus.

The development of campus' built form is discussed within the framework established by the ecological characteristics of the site, and in conjunction with the requirements of the University's transportation strategy.

The projected growth of the institution and the implications of this growth for land use and the campus' expansion over the five year period 2012 to 2016 are then considered, prior to a series of more detailed guidelines relevant to the smaller scale of specific building projects.

The 2012 Campus Master Plan concludes with a series of appendices containing more expansive and technical material regarding a number of the planning themes outlined in the main part of the document.


The University of the Sunshine Coast encourages its staff and students, as well as the wider community, to access, consider and use the provisions detailed in the 2012 Campus Master Plan.

To facilitate access, the document is available in two formats: a printed report which contains a summary of the principal planning ideas, and a website which hosts the plan in its entirety. Each section of the 2012 Campus Master Plan, including all diagrammatic information, is downloadable as a pdf file from the 2012 Campus Master Plan website.