|Submission Date||July 15, 2020|
University of Tasmania
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy
|2.00 / 2.00||
Infrastructure Services and Development
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:
The Vice-Chancellor and senior management meet regularly with the Mayors, Councillors and senior management on both the Hobart and Launceston City Councils. The focus is on public policy at a local level, both for the University to inform Councils’ policies and decision-making and vice versa, with the goal of finding mutual benefit for both the University and the communities in which we operate. Given the University's move from our suburban campuses into the centres of both cities, there have been monthly meetings focused on sustainable transport outcomes and urban liveability redevelopment through Council-led Urban Precincts and Neighbourhoods policy and programs and included in the overall Sustainable Hobart Action Plan (https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/sustainable-hobart/).
For example, the University has advocated for redevelopment of a major intersection and surrounding blocks in central Hobart to decrease space for motor vehicles in favour of bike lanes, wider footpaths, more urban vegetation and water sensitive urban design to help deliver a more liveable central business district. To provide structure to University involvement in city planning, the Vice-Chancellor and Hobart City Council established an historic Heads of Agreement in 2019 (https://www.utas.edu.au/communications/general-news/all-news/an-agreement-for-the-future-of-hobart2)
Similarly, in Launceston, the University has advocated for improved active and public transport connections through direct engagement with local government, State Government and service providers to improve timetables and routes, including co-contribution with government to establish high frequency services along a route that includes some of the city's poorest areas and the University. This advocacy on transport policy has delivered positive social and environmental sustainability outcomes, including a 25% increase in public transport use within the first three months and sustained now for a number of years.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
The University has directly contributed to discussions and government decision making around a number of sustainability areas. For example, the University through the Vice-Chancellor has advocated for sustainable transport policy via two submissions to Tasmanian Legislative Council enquiries (the latest in September 2019) based on our own five year sustainable transport strategies (https://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/Council/LC%20Select%20-%20Greater%20Hobart%20Traffic%20Congestion.html - select 'UTAS' from the list). The University's sustainable transport strategies expressly call for such engagement with government transport policies at all levels. This advocacy seeks to ensure that State and regional transport strategies deliver modal choice that positively impact social and environmental sustainability outcomes, including the Tasmanian Urban Passenger Transport Framework (https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/policies_and_strategies/framework), Northern Integrated Transport Plan, Southern Integrated Transport Plan and the Cradle Coast Transport Strategy. (https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/projectsplanning/plans,_strategies_and_policies/accordion/plans_and_strategies)
Recognising the ongoing need to coordinate submissions to national, state and local government consultations, the University Tasmanian Policy Exchange (TPE) in the Vice-Chancellor's Office was established in late 2019 to contribute to public debate to develop practical evidence-based solutions to the numerous economic, social and environmental challenges we are facing. The current submission under development relates to the proposed Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan calling for Tasmania to generate 200% of its energy needs from renewable sources, for which the University via the TPE expresses support.
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:
- April 2018: Vice Chancellor Professor Rufus Black, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor David Adams and ISC Director Professor Richard Eccleston, presented evidence at the public hearing of the Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities for the inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities. They proposed a framework to help guide the sustainable development of cities and regions, in particular Tasmania with its highly distributed population (https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/commrep/fca77d24-7567-4694-a992-623f46c410e2/toc_pdf/Standing%20Committee%20on%20Infrastructure,%20Transport%20and%20Cities_2018_04_12_6048_Official.pdf;fileType=application/p
Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:
A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.