Taree Universities Campus will now have a permanent and much larger home after Nationals Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie announced $5.5 million in federal funding to secure the former Council Chambers and Administration building in Pulteney Street.
The project is one of 18 across the electorate, worth nearly $14-million, to be funded across the electorate under the Federal Coalition Government’s Black Summer Bushfires Fund.
“This is a very big win for our region. Today’s announcement is another important but critical milestone in the development of Taree Universities Campus,” Dr Gillespie said.
“I started this process in 2018 which came out of our Vision 2030 Plan survey. From there we pulled together a steering committee, then we launched Taree Universities Campus as a project and appointed a community board of eminent locals to oversee the new entity.
“After that we began putting together the plan and application for operational Federal funding which we secured. In just over a year, there are now more than 180 registered students studying through the campus.”
In addition to providing a place for local university students to study, Taree Universities Campus provides pastoral, academic and industry support and has established formal partnerships with several universities to deliver online and face-to-face teaching and learning.
Taree Universities Campus is currently operating inside the Stack’s Finance Building in Pulteney Street, and the additional funding announced today means a long-term lease has been secured.
Part of the funding will go towards the fit-out of the new campus building to provide new teaching, learning and study spaces, along with areas for community functions and TUC’s partner organisations.
Dr Gillespie congratulated the TUC Board and staff on their efforts to help him secure the funds for the project.
“The TUC Board and staff have been magnificent. They realised this would be a journey starting from very humble beginnings, and they have worked closely with me and my team to turn it into a reality,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Now we are about to see a very significant university presence right here in downtown Taree. A campus that has plenty of room to grow and cater for many students seeking to undertake their university studies locally, both now and into the future.”
The local Board includes Dr Alison McIntosh (Chair), Graham Brown OAM, Lisa Proctor, Uncle Russell Saunders OAM, Maurie Stack OAM and Steve Atkins. Donna Ballard is the CEO.
Dr Gillespie said the project would be undertaken in partnership with MidCoast Council.