Libs promise $1.4m for North Bank precinct

THE Liberals will spend $1.4 million to help enliven North Bank with a state-of-the-art playground and footbridge to link the area with Launceston's Seaport, if it is elected next month.

Liberal Leader Will Hodgman and Liberal treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein made the commitment in Launceston yesterday saying it would create jobs, boost activity and increase the number of tourists to the region.

It follows the federal Liberal's announcement last September to commit $6 million to the $10.4 million development.

Mr Gutwein said the Liberals would join a partnership with the Launceston City Council to finish the development as soon as possible.

``During the construction period we expect around 40 full-time equivalent jobs to be created and this precinct will underpin hundreds of tourism jobs across not just the city but across the region (once it is completed),'' Mr Gutwein said.

``This will become a central focal point that people in Tasmania and visitors alike are just going to have to come and see.''

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said it was exciting that the state Liberals had pledged to commit to the project.

``This is a project that is going to be absolutely fantastic for the people of Launceston. Not only is it going to change North Bank, it's also going to add to the experience you can have here,'' he said.

He said it would link up the city's attractions including the Seaport, Royal Park, the Cataract Gorge, North Bank and Inveresk.

The council's vision for the area includes new parklands, barbecue areas, a large playground, a network of walking and cycling tracks, a boardwalk to link Kings Wharf and Inveresk and a footbridge across to Seaport from the Boat House.

Launceston City Council has included $1.75 million of capital expenditure in its strategic financial plan for the North Bank project.

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