NORTHERN Tasmania will become a centre of sports science, health and wellbeing under a plan being floated by the University of Tasmania.
It is understood the proposal would build on existing strengths of Launceston's Newnham campus, including the school of human life sciences, human interface technology laboratory and nursing simulation centre.
It may lead to students being able to study an entire physiotherapy course on campus in Tasmania.
The university hopes that by specialising in a research field the North will attract more highly-skilled staff and boost student numbers.
Northern Tasmania pro-vice chancellor Janelle Ellison declined to comment yesterday, but has previously said: ``In the North the juxtaposition of poor health indicators and a community passionate about sport presents both a need and an opportunity to focus on creatively clustering physical exercise, sport, allied health and wellbeing''.
Initial discussions have been held about the plan with all levels of government.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the idea had merit, and facilities like Aurora Stadium could also play a part.
``Any investment that the university chooses to make is always very exciting,'' he said.
``We have had some very preliminary discussions about those sort of ideas, but we're keen to get more detail on how we can help provide a focus on sports science and health promotion.''
Bass Labor MHR Geoff Lyons said he was in talks with relevant federal ministers about the proposal.
``In terms of where this can take Tasmania, well, we do have the worst health outcomes except for our (nation's) indigenous population and the way to overcome that is through education,'' Mr Lyons said.
A group of the university's senior managers are attending a planning retreat in Launceston this week.