West Tamar Council to fight for Australian Maritime College

West Tamar councillor Tim Woinarski
West Tamar councillor Tim Woinarski

West Tamar councillor Tim Woinarski moved a motion at last week’s meeting to support the Australian Maritime College.

His motion asked the council to express its support to the City of Launceston to ensure the courses offered at the AMC and its reputation would not be negatively impacted by Defence Minister Christopher Pyne’s proposal to fund a maritime technical college in Adelaide.   

“City of Launceston has to be commended for being what seems to be a lone voice in this argument,” Cr Woinarski said. “AMC could certainly run this program from Tasmania.” 

Cr Woinarski said the region had been let down by the current federal government. 

The proposed college, is being sold as a “hub and spoke” model, meaning the new centre would become the main facility, and others within Australia would compliment it. 

He said a similar institution would compete with the AMC for international business. 

“The AMC has a long-established reputation in maritime services education, research and training.”

The college has a training base in the West Tamar region at Beauty Point and said the municipality would be “directly affected”.

“The AMC is a significant employer within the northern region and also considerably contributes to the economy of Launceston, the Tamar Valley and surrounds,” Cr Woinarski said. 

He said the spending was not justified.

“While it is understandable to train workers to build ships in the location they are actually built, it doesn’t justify the proposed significant spending and the creating of a new maritime centre when we have one of the most well respected, world renowned centres here in Northern Tasmania,” he said. 

Councillor Peter Kearney said he wanted to campaign with the City of Launceston.

Councillor Geoff Lyons said the proposal “appeared out of the blue”.

“I want to do whatever we can to support the Launceston City Council,” he said.

The motion passed unanimously. The council will now offer to campaign with the City of Launceston to ensure the AMC remains the national hub for marine education in Australia.