Reid and Parkes blocks

Site testing on Parkes and Reid blocks

Reid and Parkes blocks

In March this year, the ACT Government entered in to a precinct deed with UNSW which details the investment in to a new campus, including approximately eight hectares of land in Reid and Parkes.

UNSW Canberra has since been working actively with the ACT Government on the planning for the Precinct and as part of this process, are required to undertake site testing on the Reid and Parkes blocks.

Testing will determine the presence and extent of any environmental contamination on the Reid and Parkes blocks for the future UNSW Canberra City campus development. Disruption caused by site testing will be minimal, details of the testing schedule are as follows:

  • Part closure of the Parkes gravel carpark on Constitution Avenue will commence on Monday,14 December 2020 and the carpark will be available at full capacity again from Thursday, 30 December 2020.
  • Testing on the Parkes site will be coordinated in two phases allowing the gravel car park to operate at 50% capacity during testing.
  • Testing on the Reid site (CIT campus) will commence Monday, 4 January 2021 and be completed by Friday, 15 January 2021.
  • Testing on the Reid site, has been scheduled outside of the teaching semester to keep disruption to a minimum.

The ACT Government will be erecting signage in the Parkes carpark advising patrons of the part closure of the carpark. All efforts have been made to minimise any impact to people using the carpark by scheduling the site testing during the CIT semester break and the Christmas holiday period. However, we apologise in advance for any disruption.

If you are experiencing any issues as a result of the site testing activity, or have any questions, please contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report for UNSW Canberra City

We are pleased to share the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report for the UNSW Canberra City campus. 

The Stakeholder Engagement Report was prepared by Communication Link, the local consultancy firm that UNSW Canberra engaged to encourage and facilitate independent, open and transparent community stakeholder conversations. The report will be used to inform the Campus Master Plan as well as share valuable insights from the community with the other stakeholders involved on the project.

View the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Report here.

We thank all those that contributed and encourage you to sign up to the UNSW Canberra community newsletter to stay informed about future developments on the project.

We thank all those that contributed and encourage you to sign up to the UNSW Canberra City community newsletter to stay informed about future developments on the project.

Subscribe to the UNSW Canberra City community newsletter here.

UNSW Canberra plan to share the draft Campus Master Plan in September 2020. We look forward to sharing our vision with the community which will be published on the UNSW Canberra City website. For any enquiries in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email

Planning and Development Amendment Bill passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly

On 2 July, UNSW Canberra welcomed the passage of legislation relating to the establishment of the UNSW Canberra City campus.

Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman said the legislation was an important step to ensure the long-term leasing of land to UNSW and the delivery of the new university campus would meet community expectations.

UNSW Canberra are pleased that the ACT Government prioritised the project, fast tracking the bill and that it received bipartisan support in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

“This is an exciting project in the heart of Canberra that will play a major role in the renewal of the city centre and elevate Canberra’s reputation as the knowledge capital,” Minister Gentleman said.

The Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 ensures the Territory’s investment in this important project, including the land, $25 million and the cost of site remediation, is protected. It also ensures that UNSW Canberra has appropriate flexibility to operate the new campus and that the community has confidence that the land will only be used for its intended purposes.

“It provides further protections so that any transfer or variation to the lease after the initial 20 year period would require the consent of the Planning and Land Authority, and any transfer would have to be to a vocational or tertiary education provider registered under Commonwealth legislation.

“The ACT Government looks forward to continuing to work with UNSW Canberra as they continue to engage with the community about the new campus,” he said.

UNSW Canberra Rector Professor Michael Frater said the news allows plans for the new campus to move ahead.

“This is great news not only for UNSW but also for Canberra. UNSW Canberra has a strong and proud history in the ACT and this new campus will allow UNSW an even greater role in the future of the city.

“This is very much the next phase of the UNSW Canberra story and we look forward to work continuing on the development of UNSW Canberra City,” Professor Frater said.

UNSW Canberra City campus

UNSW Canberra City welcomes legislation

UNSW Canberra City campus

UNSW Canberra has welcomed the introduction of the legislation today relating to the establishment of the UNSW Canberra City campus. UNSW is committed to build a world-class research, education and innovation campus in the heart of Canberra city.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs said the introduction of legislation could not have come at a better time for Canberra.

“I am pleased that this initiative will strengthen Canberra’s economy and employment and will assist in the recovery from the current challenges.

“UNSW has a more than 50-year history of delivering outstanding education and research in Canberra. This new campus will enable us to take the scale and quality of our involvement in Canberra to a new level,” he said.

UNSW Canberra Rector Professor Michael Frater said the news of the introduction of legislation allows plans for the new campus to move ahead.

“We have just completed a period of community consultation. This involved the gathering of ideas and information from the local community that will be used to inform the development of the Campus Master Plan that will guide the planning and construction of the UNSW Canberra City campus.

“I want to thank all the community members who took the time to share their ideas and thoughts with the team, especially during these particularly uncertain times we have found ourselves in. It was great to see the level of engagement that occurred as we took our consultation online and we look forward to continuing the conversation as we move along with the project,” he said.

UNSW Canberra City will be built in stages to accommodate future growth and is located in the middle of Canberra’s research and innovation corridor, situated with other like-minded institutions such as the Defence and Intelligence Headquarters in Russell, and the Australian Academy of Science and Canberra Innovation Network in the city centre.

“UNSW Canberra City will also be home to a new Defence and Security Innovation Precinct. The dedicated innovation precinct will allow academics, companies, government bodies and community to come together to develop defence and security capability, talent and technology.”

“We have already begun to set this plan into motion with the opening of Launch on Northbourne, our collaborative workspace that has already proven to be a successful start to future operations on the new campus,” Professor Frater said.

Overview Planning Process

Opportunities For Engagement

Overview Planning Process

An overview highlighting the community opportunities for engagement 

The opportunity for community input to the master plan closes on Monday 18 May 2020 with a range of opportunities available for you to contribute. However, this is the first of many conversations UNSW Canberra will have with the community as we plan and deliver the Canberra City campus.

This table shows how we intend to stage the development engagement, yellow highlights community opportunities for input. More information on these stages, as well as timings associated, will be available as the project progresses.

In the interests of public safety during the COVID 19 situation, all face-to-face engagement activities for the UNSW Canberra City campus Master Plan have been refocused to online and remote engagement opportunities. These new channels have been established to ensure you can still contribute your ideas in the same way you would do in-person. We have also extended the community and stakeholder engagement program for another two weeks and added an additional online drop-in kiosk. Head over to the Have Your Say page to learn more.

Canberra City campus design brief to NCA

On the 2nd of April 2020, UNSW Canberra presented a Design Brief to the National Capital Design Review Panel. This presentation forms the next stage of master planning and outline’s UNSW Canberra’s response to the National Capital Authority’s guidelines for developments in the area.

The presentation can be viewed here.