Q: Can the community provide feedback on the UNSW Canberra City Draft Master Plan?

A focused engagement process with key stakeholders and consultation with the broader ACT community on the Draft Master Plan, is central to the success of the UNSW Canberra City campus development. The University is committed to a continued consultation process through the planning and development stages.

UNSW Canberra has consulted with the community to help shape the Master Plan to ensure the new campus is a good fit for the Canberra region.

Community consultation for the Draft Master Plan closed on 1 March 2021. UNSW Canberra looks forward to consulting with the community in the future as the development continues.

To contact us:

Q: What community consultation has taken place so far?

UNSW Canberra has undertaken two rounds of community consultation – firstly in March 2020 when the University ran a series of community consultation activities designed to seek constructive ideas to inform the campus Master Plan, and secondly in March 2021 for feedback on the draft Master Plan.

Some key themes from our consultation included the incorporation of a sustainable design with a high level of architectural merit, retaining of some trees, open green spaces and the inclusion of publicly available eateries.

The feedback and consultation reports from these periods can be found below:

2020 Community Consultation Report

2021 Community Consultation Report

While these focused consultation periods have closed, the University welcomes feedback at any time.


0438 229 323

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Q: What are the next steps following community consultation of the Draft Master Plan?

Following community consultation, UNSW Canberra will prepare a consultation report that will help to inform the final Master Plan. The Master Plan will be submitted for approval to the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority.

Q: What is the Master Plan?

The UNSW Canberra City Master Plan provides the conceptual layout of the campus, to be built over four stages. It encompasses the University’s vision for the campus and responds to the detailed design and planning guidelines set out by the ACT Government and National Capital Authority (NCA), in particular how the campus development is integrated into the city and surrounding environment.

Once finalised the Master Plan will guide the campus development and position the building envelopes, open green spaces and the road, cycle and footpath network.

The Draft Master Plan has advanced in consultation with the ACT Government, NCA, National Capital Design Review Panel (NCDRP), UNSW stakeholders and the Canberra community.

Q: The UNSW Canberra City campus is a major project. What impact will construction have on the local community and nearby residents?

The new campus development is a transformative project for the Canberra city which will be designed to improve the local community experience, rejuvenating the current site and surrounding area, while being respectful to the current landscape, community and surroundings.

Engagement and communication will be ongoing throughout this project to keep local residents, businesses and the community informed of progress and to limit any impact of the development.

The community are encouraged to sign up to the campus development newsletter for up to date information on the development.

Q: How were the needs for student accommodation determined?

The current standard for higher education institutions, including UNSW Sydney, is to provide on-campus accommodation for first-year students. In line with this, UNSW Canberra has committed to providing on-campus accommodation for the UNSW Canberra City campus first-year students which is approximately 1600 beds.

Q: Will car parking be available to the general public?

The UNSW Canberra City campus will have car parking available on site for the general public. While the details are yet to be confirmed, it is likely parking at UNSW Canberra City will operate similar to other public car parking models in Canberra.

Q: Will the heritage railway easement be maintained?

UNSW will maintain and rejuvenate the heritage railway easement in accordance with the ACT Heritage Act. The heritage railway easement area contains a mix of mature trees and shrubs providing an effective screen between the campus and Amaroo Street, therefore, the mixed green landscape will remain in place providing a quiet reflective space for the enjoyment of all.

Q: What is the role of the City Renewal Authority?

The City Renewal Authority (CRA) will support and guide UNSW Canberra through the planning and design of the new campus.

Authority endorsement of the Master Plan and design stages will be required as it proceeds through the planning approval and development process.

The Authority will work with UNSW to ensure the new city campus development aligns with the City East objectives described in our City Precinct Renewal Program and demonstrates the application of our design principles.

Q: Who will be investing in UNSW Canberra City?

Acknowledging the benefits to the community and economy, the ACT Government has committed to staged investment in the UNSW Canberra City campus. Similarly, UNSW Canberra will invest in the campus over the period of its development and will continue to work with partners who share the campus vision to determine the best investment mix moving forward, and will work with the University to bring that vision to life.

Q: What are the benefits for the ACT?

  • The benefits from the UNSW Canberra City Campus are wide-ranging, from economic during building and construction through to job creation and social benefits such as city renewal and rejuvenation.
  • The ACT Government commissioned independent economic analysis which found a UNSW campus would bring significant economic benefits to Canberra. The analysis found the campus is expected to generate 2,000 jobs and for every $1 invested, there would be $3 in economic benefits to the ACT.
  • This project brings global expertise and opportunity for local employment and business.
  • A second Group of Eight university in Canberra’s CBD will strengthen Canberra’s reputation as the knowledge and education capital of Australia and will bring new student markets to the ACT.
  • Launch, UNSW Canberra’s defence and security innovation precinct, will be a leader in the realms of Innovation Districts. Designed to be energetic and social, the precinct will attract world-class innovators and industry leaders, accelerating social and economic benefits.

Q: How many jobs will the development of UNSW Canberra City create?

Independent economic analysis commissioned by the ACT Government indicates that over the longer term the campus will generate at least 2,000 jobs.

Q: How many students will be able to study at UNSW Canberra City?

The UNSW Canberra City campus anticipate 6,000 plus students over the longer term.

Q: Is UNSW Canberra City aligned with the Australian Defence Force Academy?

The UNSW Canberra City campus will not provide services to students at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). The UNSW Canberra City campus will deliver new academic programs for domestic and international students and be home to Launch, UNSW Canberra’s defence and security research and innovation precinct. The new campus will also provide much needed space for the expansion of UNSW Canberra postgraduate and professional education programs and research.

Q: When will the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) move from Reid?

In November 2018, the ACT Government announced that it would deliver a new, state of the art CIT campus in Woden Town Centre. This facility will be fit-for-purpose and designed to accommodate changing needs of vocational education and training.

Information about CIT’s move to Woden can be found here.

Q: How is safety being addressed on a porous campus boundary?

Safety on campus is of utmost importance for the University. The UNSW Canberra City campus is no different from other University campuses with a range of safety and security measures and protocols in place. Some will be obvious and active such as Security monitoring and patrols and others more passive such as activated ground plane, walkway structure, landscaping and lighting.

Q: What will be the activity hours on the UNSW Canberra City campus?

Modern University campuses are typically in use 24/7 with access controlled outside standard business hours.

Q: What courses will be offered at UNSW Canberra City?

UNSW Canberra City will allow for expansion of our current postgraduate and professional offering as well as the opportunity to explore tailored educational programs which attract new domestic and international markets to Canberra.

Q: When will students begin studying?

UNSW is committed to commencing the new campus development in a timely manner and will begin new programs in the next few years. More information will be made available on the UNSW Canberra City website.

Q: Will there be accommodation options for students?

UNSW Canberra knows that student accommodation is essential for the success of the campus. The University has committed to providing on-campus accommodation for the UNSW Canberra City campus first-year students which is approximately 1600 beds.

Q: Will parking be available onsite?

The UNSW Canberra City Campus will be working closely with Government to ensure there is appropriate parking along with active travel options on site.

Q: What considerations are being given to heritage and the environment on the campus?

  • UNSW Canberra will continue to engage with consultants throughout the planning process and will evaluate all plans alongside the heritage and environmental impact.
  • The campus and buildings will be designed to grow with Canberra including a range of options to further enhance the location experience and long-term growth with a high level of integration with the cycle ways and pedestrian paths.
  • Our urban design focuses on revitalising Constitution Avenue with more trees and a landscape design that is beautiful, sustainable and enhances the local character of the precinct and protecting the amenity and value of the heritage railway easement.
  • UNSW is committed to environmental sustainability and the UNSW Canberra City campus will meet or exceed the Universities’ targets set to achieve its environmental sustainability goals https://www.sustainability.unsw.edu.au/

Q: What will be the effects on local traffic throughout the construction period?

  • A Construction Transport Management Plan will be prepared in accordance with Roads ACT guidelines and specifications.
  • All efforts will be made to minimise impact to stakeholders, Reid residents and the wider community for the duration of construction.
  • The community will be notified in advance of any changes in traffic conditions.

Q: What are the next milestones for the development?

The Precinct Deed with ACT Government outlines a clear timeframe of delivery which the campus development must adhere to, with all development activities completed within 15 years from the date of the Deed. Campus development will occur in four sequential stages under holding leases. These will be granted for each stage upon completion of the previous stage. The first development proposal should be presented to the ACT Government within 12 months of the approval of the Master Plan

Q. What is happening with the trees on the site and the former rail reserve?

  • The heritage railway easement along Amaroo St will not be developed as part of the UNSW Canberra City campus. It will be maintained by UNSW Canberra.
  • Our urban design focuses on revitalising Constitution Avenue a landscape design that is beautiful, sustainable and enhances the local character of the precinct.

Q: What will happen with the two hectares of land the ACT Government is retaining?

The ACT Government will retain two hectares of land at the east end of the site for future development. The Government will work with UNSW to develop an integrated plan for the site’s future, which complements the UNSW Canberra City campus. You can learn more about the ACT Government planning here.

Q: What is Launch, UNSWs defence and security research and innovation precinct?

  • UNSW Canberra is realising a unique opportunity to establish its very own innovation district model at UNSW Canberra City. Re-imagined urban areas with a composition of economic, physical and social networking assets will come together to create an innovation ecosystem, in this case, specific to defence and security.
  • Connected to the community, the precinct is a vibrant co-working and innovation community for defence and security organisations, housed in highly secure, yet social and collaborative work spaces on the new UNSW Canberra City campus
  • In 2019, UNSW Canberra announced Launch on Northbourne which forms a pilot to the precinct on the Canberra City campus. Learn more about Launch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tekD_dv3Cuc&feature=youtu.be

Q: Where will Launch be located?

The Launch pilot Launch on Northbourne, was opened in February 2020 at 216 Northbourne Avenue and is currently at capacity. A second Launch location will be established at UNSW Canberra City and will form an important part of the University and the ACT’s innovation ecosystem, in the heart of the innovation corridor.

Q: When will UNSW Canberra accept enquiries to join Launch at the City campus?

Currently, Launch on Northbourne is at capacity. Any enquiries on future occupancy at Launch on Northbourne or the Innovation Precinct at UNSW Canberra City can be directed to launch@canberra.unsw.edu.au.

Q: What research will be carried out at UNSW Canberra City?

UNSW Canberra currently excels in defence and security research in the areas of cyber security, space, systems engineering, artificial intelligence, logistics, hypersonics, public sector management and conflict studies; Launch will host the expansion of these research areas.

Q: What is the UNSW Defence Research Institute?

A strategic initiative of the University, the UNSW Defence Research Institute (UNSW DRI) stimulates, unifies and supports defence-related research within the UNSW community. The UNSW DRI works to deliver world-class defence research to enhance Australia’s security.

The UNSW DRI will be a key partner at the UNSW Canberra City campus, facilitating partnerships and connections within the defence and security research and innovation ecosystem.

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