What started as an ambitious and bold plan from Mayor Allen Sutherland, progressed in July 2015, with Moreton Bay Regional Council’s (MBRC) purchase of a strategic land holding being the former
Petrie Mill for $50.5 million.
The strategic purchase of the 200 hectare site was undertaken in bid to attract a major new full-scale university campus to the Moreton Bay Region, which is set be transformed with a vibrant new urban centre at Petrie.
The initial stage of the project was focused around attracting a university provider – a national process that has resulted in the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) being secured as the preferred university partner.
USC's Moreton Bay Campus is set to be opened in 2020, and is expected to cater for up to 10,000 students by 2030. This is backed by a federal pledge by Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison MP, who has committed $35 million to the project as a part of the recent Federal election.
Anchored by USC, MBRC’s vision for the site is to create a destination that attracts students, residents and visitors who enjoy globally recognised and multi-award winning educational and community facilities.
The thriving new precinct is expected to generate approximately 2,500 new jobs and sustain an onsite population of almost 5,000 residents – all with direct access to public transport through the Petrie rail station and the upgraded Moreton Bay Rail Link.
ML Design and Cardno were chosen from 22 different submissions to be the preferred consultants to assist MBRC achieve their vision for the university.
MBRC’s vision also includes 60 hectares of other developable land outside the committed university area, including the potential for a new regional parkland located around the site’s stunning fresh water lakes.
Working in partnership with MBRC, the consortia were asked to develop a concept master plan for the site that was supported by sound economic, market and civil inputs – resulting in a comprehensive plan for the site.
The concept plan continues to be developed through a collaborative design process with the Council and the University, whilst rigorously testing through a series of workshops with potential development partners.
Initial concepts have also been tested with the community and their input continues to inform the ongoing development of the plan.
The concept plan looks to successfully combine design and community input, economic and market realities, with the necessary development infrastructure to see the site become a true attraction, education hub and employment generator for the region.
Main image: Former Petrie Mill site set be transformed with a vibrant new urban centre at Petrie.