Launceston City Deal ‘could set a national example’

The Launceston City Deal could serve as an example of how to provide economic development in regional centres across Australia, a House of Representatives Committee has heard.

A House Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation, chaired by Queensland Liberal Member of Parliament John McVeigh, heard submissions from government and private groups in Launceston.

Regional Development Australia Tasmania chairman Tom Black said collaboration was key.

He said without the City Deal, there would be a heap of separate projects occurring in the city.

Member for Indi Cathy McGowan questioned whether the City Deal could be a model for regional development across Australia.

“City Deal is an option, clearly,” Mr Black said. 

“Time will tell how successful it will be – we hope it will be successful.”

RDA Tasmania community and strategic development officer Kevin Turner said the deal would bring great economic and social benefits.

“We’re hoping this university project will be the thing that could potentially eradicate poverty in Launceston,” he said. 

Mr Turner said the deal had improved the relationship Launceston representatives had with the federal government.

Mr Black told the committee better education and more employment opportunities were needed in Launceston.

He threw support behind attracting government departments to the city and said liveability was a clear benefit to decentralisation.

“I could be in the CBD of Melbourne quicker than a lot of people that live in Victoria,” he said, referring to air travel from Launceston to Tullamarine.