Flinders University campus opens on old Mitsubishi site

Flinders University opened a $120 million teaching and
research facility at the site of the old Mitsubishi car making factory in
Tonsley yesterday.

The new campus is intended to bring together education,
innovation, business and commercial start-up ventures in one precinct, to
stimulate economic growth in industries of the future.

Disciplines including biomedical, civil, electrical, electronic, mechanical and software engineering, IT, network systems and mathematics will be taught at the campus.

The official launch was attended by Flinders University’s
new vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling as well as Federal Minister for
Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, and South Australian Premier Jay
Weatherill.

“Sadly, automotive manufacturing came to an end here in
March 2008,” Macfarlane said in a speech at the opening. “It is an illustration
of the significant changes in our local communities as a result of changes in
global manufacturing.

“But it’s also an illustration of the direction Australia
can and must take and the opportunities we must seize in order to stake a claim
in the increasingly competitive and evolving global marketplace.”

According to Adelaide Now, Wetherill highlighted the
importance of bringing together industry, education and government in the one precinct.

“This place is absolutely pregnant with meaning for the
future of South Australia,” he said.

“It represents Flinders University coming down from the hill
— which is symbolic in itself.

“Modern manufacturing, advanced, high-technology
manufacturing is about partnerships.

“It’s about the relationships between business, government,
universities, vocational education and training and the broader community.

“All of those elements have been brought together at this
site.”

Car manufacturing took place at Tonsley Park for over 40 years.

Back in 1964 Chrysler Australia opened a vehicle
manufacturing plant there. Then in 1980, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi
Corporation bought Chrysler Australia and the Tonsley Park site. The company
continued manufacturing cars there until 2008.