The Launceston City Deal Annual Progress Report has been released, highlighting the latest results three years since the deal was signed.
The Launceston City Deal is a $509 million ten-year plan to make Launceston one of Australia’s most liveable and innovative regional cities, with growing incomes and falling levels of disadvantage.
The centrepiece of the Deal – relocating the University of Tasmania’s Launceston campus from Newnham to Inveresk – is coming to life with the first campus building, the Library and Student Experiences, now under construction.
To date, 65 people have been working on the construction of Launceston’s largest ever infrastructure project, including apprentices and trainees.
Overall, 430 new jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase and when complete, 225 new academic and supporting jobs will be created in the new campus.
These transformations will cater for 10,000 students by 2032 and will support an ultimate target of 16,000 students and staff engaged annually on the new campus.
A new pedestrian and cycle bridge is taking shape across the North Esk River, and when completed at the end of 2020, it will serve as the activated spine for the vibrant, city-connected Inveresk Precinct.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the City Deal was delivering jobs and boosting the economy at a critical period in the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Launceston like the rest of the country needs the economic stimulus and jobs, and the City Deal is providing part of that lifeline,” Mr Tudge said.
“The new campus is not only critical for this stimulus right now, but for generations to come with its state-of-art teaching, research facilities, learning hubs and residential-style student accommodation.”
Tasmanian Minister for State Growth, Michael Ferguson, said in just over two years since the River Health Action Plan was implemented by all three levels of government, the plan is already showing very promising results for the Tamar Estuary.
“A total of $140 million in funding is committed to improving Tamar’s health, and this will solve a long-term problem,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Riparian fencing has been set up by local landholders under the Tamar Action Grants program, protecting over 175 kilometre of waterways. We are effectively protecting the river by preventing livestock from entering the estuary, and managing the effluent.
“In the recently released 2020 Tamar Estuary Report Card, the best water quality was seen in the estuary since measurement and reporting started, and all river zones scored a higher grade than the previous report in 2018.”
Federal Member for Bass, Bridget Archer, said next year will see construction start on upgrading Launceston’s combined sewerage and stormwater system, establishing the northern suburbs community recreation hub and the Albert Hall renewal.
“I’m pleased to see the Aboriginal employment and supplier targets set in the construction phase of major projects in Launceston, including the new Inveresk campus and the sewerage and stormwater system upgrades,” Mrs Archer said.
“In the meantime, City Deal partners are working together to develop a master plan to support the long-term vibrancy of the Newnham campus.
“The Australian Government has committed $30 million to establish the Defence and Maritime Innovation and Design Precinct at Newnham, to draw academics from across the country and maintain Launceston’s position as a hub of excellence in maritime engineering and innovation.”
Mayor of the City of Launceston, Albert van Zetten, said that without the collaboration between the three tiers of government, many of these projects would simply not have been possible.
“There’s no question – the City Deal is delivering outstanding results for Launceston,” Mr van Zetten said.
“Going forward, all of the initiatives outlined in this progress report will continue to deliver and provide ongoing opportunities for Launceston residents as well as boosting the city’s growing reputation as the most liveable and innovative regional city in the country.”