City Deal a deserved reward for Launceston

Three levels of government have combined to grant Launceston the capacity to become a more vibrant, confident, and independent city.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in Launceston on Thursday, to shake on the agreement that is the City Deal; a $280 million investment in the city’s future.

Launceston is one of three Australian cities to get such a deal – the others being Western Sydney and Townsville.

The cash injection will come from the state and federal governments, plus the City of Launceston council.

The main ticket items include the first stage of the City Heart Project, and the relocation of the University of Tasmania campus, which come in at $18 million and $260 million respectively.

It is also believed that the five-year deal will create a water authority to focus on improving the health of the Tamar River.

In cementing the deal, Mr Turnbull said the deal would “unlock jobs” and maximise Launceston’s potential.

The concept of a City Deal comes from the United Kingdom, where they were designed to take the fiscal abilities of federal governments, and put it into the hands of state governments and local councils, in order to deliver targeted growth for their chosen cities.

The City of Launceston council endorsed the agreement at its meeting earlier this month, with mayor Albert van Zetten saying the deal was an investment in intergenerational infrastructure projects.

It is a pat on the back for the region, from a national height.

Launceston has long striven within itself to better itself, through community and social enterprises, through to forward planning for the wants and needs of Launcestonians to come.

That drive and determination has now been recognised, and rewarded.

The city and its leading forces should be proud to have been given this opportunity to build on the foundations that already exist, and improve the skills it already possesses.

With Tasmania’s reputation as an enviable destination to work and play going from strength to strength, the deal could not come at a better time.

We are poised and ready to jump, to cement our reputation as a liveable city that still offers the assets of community mindedness, innovation, and natural beauty.

Launceston’s time to shine has arrived.