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  • Hayley Clark

Update - my position on UTas

I support the Save UTAS Sandy Bay campaign. That has not always been the case, but when my research showed a deficit of information and dialogue from the University and I witnessed a community backlash that was a clear indication that UTAS lacks the social licence to proceed, I changed my position some months ago. That is what being independent is all about – a willingness to listen, reflect and act on your assessment of a situation.

Over the past few weeks, I have talked to a broad range of Hobart voters and yesterday, I attended the Save UTAS rally. I know that the proposed relocation of UTAS to the city centre continues to be a vital issue for this election.

On one side of the debate are the well-supported Save UTAS group and on the other, the governing council of the University, which has indicated its intention to continue with a complete relocation of the UTAS campus to the city. Unfortunately, the UTAS Council refuses to meet with Save UTAS representatives, and constructive community dialogue is critical in promoting sensible options.

I support a UTAS presence in the city for faculties that logically fit with the city precinct – Menzies and the Medical School are prime examples. There are, however, faculties at the Sandy Bay campus that are not suited to a CBD location and should remain at Sandy Bay. If UTAS does not want to continue to operate from the Sandy Bay site, then it should reach out to other Australian Universities to gauge their interest in co-location or sole use of the Sandy Bay campus.

The University is a Tasmanian institution. No one wants to see it destroyed or weakened by the current controversy. We must recognise the emotion and the regard that this proud institution has in our community and work to find a solution. I embrace the challenge and the opportunity to be part of creating that solution in my next term on the Hobart City Council.


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