THE Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments and the City of Launceston last week signed the Launceston City Deal, which is a five-year plan from 2017 to 2022 that aims to position Launceston as one of Australia's most liveable and innovative regional cities.
The centrepiece of the deal is a $260 million commitment to move the University of Tasmania's main Launceston campus to Inveresk near the city centre. This will be complemented by the City Deal's $19.4 million support for Launceston's City Heart project, which will rejuvenate Launceston's CBD.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the City Deal will maximise Launceston's potential through more than $280 million of investment across all three levels of government and the University of Tasmania.
The two projects are expected to deliver more than 480 local jobs and apprenticeships, 225 university positions and the capacity for 10,000 more student places, as well as provide a boost the local economy, support industry-led research and development and help establish Launceston as a vibrant university city.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said the five-year plan builds on Launceston's strengths: its heritage heart, family-friendly community, unique natural environment, and high quality university and research sector.
The signing of the Launceston City Deal follows a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian and Tasmanian governments in September last year. It is the second City Deal to have been finalised, after the Townsville City Deal was signed on 9 December 2016.
Launceston's Mayor, Albert van Zetten, welcomed the Deal's focus on delivering jobs and growth and shaping a vibrant, confident city. Importantly, he said the City Deal reflects the views and ideas of the community and will be implemented with key local partners.
"The City Deal represents a major investment in the future of the city and sets out a vision for better educational and job opportunities, regional economic growth and rising incomes," Mayor van Zetten said.
"The City of Launceston is proud to sign the Launceston City Deal and we look forward to a new era of confidence, investment and opportunity in Launceston and across Northern Tasmania."