Moreton Bay launches site for new campus in Petrie

Moreton Bay has taken another step closer to establishing a full-service university campus in ?Petrie, north of Brisbane.

Last week marked the official launch of the Moreton Bay University Innovation and Community precinct on the 200ha former Amcor paper mill site, which the Moreton Bay Regional Council purchased for more than $50 million in July.

The Moreton Bay region, midway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, was all but university free, Bernard Salt, KPMG demographer and columnist for The Australian, told those at the launch.

Moreton Bay mayor Allan Suth?erland said the council, through KPMG, was in negotiations with several universities about opening a stand-alone campus on the site.

Wed want a full-service campus and a willingness to target 10,000 students over 10 years, Mr Sutherland said.

KPMG (has) been working on that and were very far advanced and we expect an announcement before the end of the year.

The nearest university campuses to the area include a Queensland University of Technology campus at Caboolture and an Australian Catholic University precinct north of inner Brisbane.

Figures prepared by Mr Salt show that while the population of the greater Moreton Bay region is nearing that of Brisbane South, inner Brisbane and the Gold Coast, it had a significantly fewer university students, and lost some 13,000 to other areas last year.

Inner Brisbane is the biggest net recipient of students, gaining 29,000 from other areas.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council area is in my view the best location for a new university campus in Australia based on current and future demographics, Mr Salt said.

The greater Moreton Bay region currently generates 19,000 students locally, but there are only 6000 local university places.

No other part of any major city in Australia is as poorly serviced by local universities.

But while Moreton Bay is pushing for a regional campus, some universities are closing theirs.

Monash handed over its Gippsland campus to Federation University and is considering the future of its Berwick campus, although Victoria University, the long-time frontrunner, has ruled out taking that facility.

Earlier this year the University of Queensland exited Ipswich, transferring the campus to the University of Southern Queensland, which in turn is in the process of handing its Fraser Coast campus to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Source: The Australian