Hopes for increase in funding

THE Greater Launceston Plan should result in more state and federal government assistance for the struggling Northern region, Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski believes.

The $880,000 plan, funded by all levels of government, has articulated 20 years' worth of projects for the Launceston region in the infrastructure, business and commercial, community development and environmental areas.

The plan extends beyond Launceston's municipal boundaries and has been developed with the George Town, West Tamar, Meander Valley and Northern Midlands Councils.

Mr Dobrzynski said besides offering a clear direction for the region, the desired outcome was to make it more attractive for government funding.

``In the difficult economic climate, the more you can provide to governments a very coherent, evidence-based strategy that clearly substantiates the justification for major projects that build economic activity, the better prospects you'll have in getting support,'' he said.

``If you haven't got a unity of purpose of what your priorities are as a region, you can't really expect federal and state governments to be providing funding on a whim.''

Mr Dobrzynski said two-thirds of greater Launceston's population existed outside the municipal boundaries.

He said the city maintained a symbiotic relationship with its region, where the region's economic pain was suffered within city boundaries.

``Whilst there are always tensions, because the city's interests are different to the interests of a mainly rural area, we've got to learn to work together more effectively,'' Mr Dobrzynski said.

Public consultation on the plan will start next month.

Mr Dobrzynski said the highest priority out of the plan would be to determine the future of Launceston's CBD.

He said the council would work with the business and broader community to develop a vision for the centre that took into account the current state of the retail sector.

Mr Dobrzynski said the council would next year seek commitment from the state's major parties to support the CBD revitalisation.

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