THE health industry has welcomed a plan to create a Northern centre of sports science, health and well-being.
The proposal from the University of Tasmania would build on existing strengths of its Newnham campus, and may lead to Tasmanian students being able to study an entire physiotherapy course on campus.
Australian Physiotherapy Association state president Emma King said it was a wonderful proposal that could help address a Tasmanian skills shortage.
``Without such training opportunities it is hard to attract people (to work in the state),'' Ms King said.
``For 20 years that's been an ongoing problem.''
Such a centre of excellence would benefit not only undergraduates, she said, but also people who were swapping mid-career as well as those already in the field who wanted to specialise.
Ms King, who runs a practice in the North, said such a project would take some time to get off the ground but would be well worth the investment.
Diabetes Australia ambassador Guy Barnett said such an initiative could help reduce rates of obesity, which costs the Tasmanian economy $1 billion a year.
``There's great merit in the establishment of a centre of health and healthy lifestyles, particularly as Tasmania regularly has some of the worst rates of type 2 diabetes (in the country), of heart disease, certain cancers and levels of obesity,'' Mr Barnett said.
``We need to turn that around''
The proposal has been put to all levels of government, which have welcomed it but are seeking more details on what support may be required.