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Woden in line for new CIT to replace Reid campus

Ian Bushnell 9 June 2019 38
CIT Reid could be moving to Woden. Photos: George Tsotsos.

CIT Reid could be moving to Woden. Photos: George Tsotsos.

The Woden Town Centre is being considered as a potential site for a new purpose-built Canberra Institute of Technology campus to replace the Reid facility in the city.

The ACT Government is investigating whether to upgrade the prime Reid site or identify a new site to develop a modern, state-of-the-art campus.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said that the site could be nearby in the Constitution Avenue precinct, where the University of NSW Canberra is considering establishing a new campus, or it could anchor the Woden Town Centre, which is being transformed by new high-rise residential developments and is in need of community facilities.

Mr Steel, who is also a local MLA, said siting a new CIT in Woden would support its regeneration, particularly with the coming redevelopment of the interchange in preparation for light rail Stage 2.

He said a benefit of moving to Woden was that it could provide a smooth transition for staff and students, with a facility able to be built before having to vacate the Reid site.

Woden Valley Community Council president Fiona Carrick said a CIT in the Town Centre would support educational opportunities for the entire South, including Tuggeranong and Weston Creek, not just Woden.

She said it would be a reason for people to go to Woden, which is a transport, community and business hub for the South, and there would be big flow-on benefits to its small businesses.

But Mr Steel said the Government’s priority was to build new CIT campus to deliver high-quality VET services.

He said it would be a substantial project that would require a site to be identified and design work to establish a cost.

A Government spokesperson said the Terms of Reference for an analysis of site options were being developed now and a consultant would be engaged to carry out the work, with the findings expected in time for a public announcement by the end of 2019 or early 2020.

“We will continue to assess all options for the future of the CIT site in Reid, including ongoing discussions with UNSW, should CIT move to Woden,” the spokesperson said.

“In discussions with UNSW to date about a proposed new city campus, the ACT Government has made it clear that the needs and best interests of CIT will be a primary consideration in reaching a decision about a redevelopment of the precinct by UNSW. We are broadly supportive of this transformational project. However, careful consideration of the detail within the business case, and an assessment of the costs and benefits to the Canberra community is still in progress. ”

Terms of Reference for an analysis of site options were being developed.

Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Meegan Fitzharris said the ACT Government would work closely with CIT over the coming months to commission an independent assessment of sites in Woden that could accommodate a new CIT campus.

“Positioning CIT with a major presence in the heart of Woden has the potential to enhance the Town Centre and create an energy around a new campus that will open up a range of opportunities for CIT staff and students, local businesses, industry and the broader community,” she said.

Chair of the CIT Governing Board, Craig Sloan said campus renewal was a key to the evolution of CIT’s ability to support the ACT economy through providing a skilled workforce for contemporary needs.

“Industry and students have told us traditional classrooms isolated from employers and removed from the broader ecosystem are no longer capable of meeting the needs of the changing world of work. CIT needs to continue to evolve to transform the way we teach to help equip students with the vocational education, industry relevance and skills needed for the ACT to prosper.”

The Reid site would be a prime development opportunity and a windfall for the Government if it should choose to sell.

There are four other CIT sites in Canberra – Fyshwick, Bruce, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong.


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38 Responses to
Woden in line for new CIT to replace Reid campus
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11:53 am 12 Jun 19

I am pretty sure that Geocon are more interested in developing Reid. Easy money. They're probably negotiating with Barr already.

10:29 am 10 Jun 19

IMHO location is irrelevant… increase teacher quality, technology access, worksation level / data center level computers, super high speed internet good film/tv pro cameras… proper kit! who cares about a building … sometimes i love canberra sometimes i feel its stuck in the 1990s…we have a shortage of proper skilled technicians but yeah… okay lets argue about aesthetics! but aesthetiucally that REID campus is a dump. really horrible layout and feels like a potemkin village. but oh well

8:18 pm 09 Jun 19

Plentiful in woden the old tradies site stinks geoco has not commence since sold. Plentiful land ofisite interchange.

    9:08 pm 09 Jun 19

    William William criminal what they did at the Fyshwick site many years ago. .wasted heaps of $$$$ there over the years ..same at Bruce tafe

7:00 pm 09 Jun 19

Elisa Burger Yes, but to predict 10,000 students at UNSW Reid is a joke, unless you are taking a 20+ year view :-)

6:43 pm 09 Jun 19

Hang on they moved Woden cit to Bruce Campus as Woden wasn’t a hub location despite public outcry. Now they want to put a campus back at Woden!!! Where’s the forward planning?!!!!! Ughhh bloody joke

    8:14 pm 09 Jun 19

    I dare say they want to make the south side more incisive of the capital

    8:17 pm 09 Jun 19

    Claudine Norton yepppp they had that chance 5 years ago when they were deciding to spend thousands on moving cit Woden to Bruce.

5:24 pm 09 Jun 19

Because the land in Woden is worth less and /or better views for apartments in town...

5:05 pm 09 Jun 19

I thought UNSW was looking to expand its student numbers here in Canberra and they want the Reid site and the car park opposite. Woden at least could support the south side that is getting pushed further into "they don't matter" territory.

4:32 pm 09 Jun 19

Sweet cheaper parking

3:19 pm 09 Jun 19

UNSW wants the Reid site.

John Moulis 2:05 pm 09 Jun 19

Oh no, not again. The original Woden CIT (or TAFE) was one of the great mistakes in Canberra’s history and indicative of how one arm of the Federal government didn’t know what the other was doing in those pre-self government days.

The building was designed by the Sydney architect who designed the (now demolished) American Express Center in central Sydney. Distinctive because of the scaffolding-type structure outside the windows and used to great effect by rock act The Angels in their video for Face the Day in 1981.

It was all very well until Tuggeranong began getting developed and someone in the Department of the Capital Territory discovered that the Education Department had built Woden CIT right in the path of the extension to Yarra Glen (which had appeared on maps as a dotted line since 1961) and which was supposed to link Tuggeranong with Civic and North Canberra.

The Department and NCDC hastily drew up and put in an extension to Yamba Drive to go into Tuggeranong (Erindale Drive) to provide that link to Civic, and the Yarra Glen extension (now named Athllon Drive) had to stop suddenly at Hindmarsh Drive.

    JC 5:41 pm 09 Jun 19

    Sounds a bit like an old wives tale. Listening to all the old timers everything was done right and was perfect back in the NCDC days, but seems like you are suggesting otherwise.

1:47 pm 09 Jun 19

They want to sell Reid Campus to UNSW

    7:03 pm 09 Jun 19

    Josh Mulrine Elisa Burger Yes, but to predict 10,000 students at UNSW Reid is a joke, unless you are taking a 20+ year view :-)

1:37 pm 09 Jun 19

Will get more money for selling Reid than Woden?

1:29 pm 09 Jun 19

Keep Reid CIT and add one at Woden. There used to be one Southside. There should be again. Young people on the Southside need a facility like this. Having it in the Woden town centre means close to public transport. Might help revive the place

    5:31 pm 09 Jun 19

    Yep, I agree Elspeth, particularly as they have just spent lots of money moving music and media to Reid. There needs to be a CIT southside.

    8:25 pm 09 Jun 19

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason all the course i wanted is only available in bruce so from southern to bruce as used to be but they dont cater for man availability short courses only at bruce. Plentifully land here lots sold 5 years ago empty buildings standing for years but thats our government's for u

1:22 pm 09 Jun 19

Reid is the obvious location for any CIT course only offered in one place in Canberra-leave it alone.

12:58 pm 09 Jun 19

They know how to waste money ..couldn't run a chook raffle

12:00 pm 09 Jun 19

Didn’t they just close the woden campus and move the remaining students to Reid though?

11:29 am 09 Jun 19

Woden is far from central, Reid is the ideal location, they just want the prime real estate!

    10:07 pm 12 Jun 19

    Sarah Jane Walden UNSW has the Reid block. CIT Woden will be at the LR stop. Woden needs commerce big time CIT would be ideal

11:29 am 09 Jun 19

May aswell build it in throsby hey Owen James

10:56 am 09 Jun 19

What you mean is that the ACT Government wants to have many more skyscrapers on constitutional avenue.

    11:17 am 09 Jun 19

    It is better they are in the city, than to have more medium density in the suburbs.

    1:12 pm 09 Jun 19

    George Lemon yep built by Geocon no doubt!

    1:51 pm 09 Jun 19

    George Lemon but hang on there are adverts out for apartments in Woden "Just minutes to the light rail" so there must be some other reason they need to build more skyscrapers in Civic.

    7:41 pm 09 Jun 19

    George Lemon let’s say they did can you let’s us all know why that is a bad thing?

    I mean to say the buildings at Reid CIT are in need of replacement so if you can build a new facility elsewhere and fund it through the sale of the old one why is that a bad thing?

10:33 am 09 Jun 19

It's also great to have the types of Education CIT offers all over the ACT instead of centralised to majority in one location

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