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Back to News 6 February 2017

Australia’s leading innovation district now officially known as Tonsley

Australia’s leading innovation district now officially known as Tonsley

In recognition of South Australia’s proud history of agriculture and manufacturing, the suburb of Tonsley has officially been created, including the 61-hectare former Mitsubishi Motors site which is now home to Australia’s leading innovation district.

While the area has long been known as Tonsley, it is now officially a suburb following an application by the City of Marion and Renewal SA. The application was endorsed by the Office of the Surveyor General and approved by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.

The South Australian Government purchased the former Mitsubishi Motors site in 2010, transforming it into Australia’s first innovation district. It is now home to more than 70 businesses and around 1,000 workers and is viewed internationally as a model for urban renewal.

The new suburb of Tonsley includes the former Mitsubishi site, an area south to Sturt Road, and the existing residential precinct bounded by the Tonsley rail line, Sturt Road and South Road. A small industrial precinct to the northeast of the site is also included.

As well as a hub for advanced manufacturing businesses and services, Tonsley has a significant research, education and training focus with Flinders University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics and TAFE SA’s Sustainable Industries Education Centre both on site.

Changing the name of a suburb is a formal and independent decision of the Office of the Surveyor-General with input from State Government agencies, the Local Council, and the community.

Tonsley has a 140-year history in the area, after the Ragless family bought farmland in 1876 and named it after Tonsley Hall in England. It was farmed for several generations before being developed by Chrysler in 1964.

Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher

The official renaming of Tonsley is recognition of the progression of South Australia’s history of production, with the site home to farming, automotive manufacturing and now a bright future in advanced manufacturing and technology.

I am proud of what we have been able to achieve at the Tonsley Innovation Hub — it is now an incredibly accessible site that is home to more than 70 businesses and will continue to grow into the future.

The State Government is transforming the suburb of Tonsley into a collaborative and high-value industry, education and residential precinct, where business people, researchers, tertiary students, industries and companies can interact and innovate.

We will soon see the start of the construction of the residential development, which will host more than 800 homes and 1,200 residents.

Renewal SA Chief Executive John Hanlon

The suburb renaming process for Tonsley marks a great milestone in the redevelopment of this former industrial site to a mixed-use innovation district which is already home to many businesses, and will soon be home to many residents too.

City of Marion Mayor Kris Hanna

Council welcomes the renaming. The local community have been calling the area “Tonsley” for years!

For decades, the name “Tonsley” was synonymous with car production — now it will have a reputation for high-tech innovation.


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