Hobart’s stratospheric rise is showing no sign of letting up, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signing an agreement to proceed with a City Deal for the state capital.
Mr Turnbull was in Hobart with Premier Will Hodgman and Local Government Association of Tasmania President Doug Chipman on Tuesday morning to sign the memorandum of understanding for the City Deal.
The deal will allow the University of Tasmania’s proposed $400 million Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) facility for the CBD to be seriously considered.
It will also expedite the $2 billion redevelopment of Macquarie Point, which could well include the construction of a world-leading Antarctic precinct.
The Prime Minister also flagged the Commonwealth’s interest in light rail options for the Greater Hobart area, as well as other new means of public transport.
The City Deal is also expected to oversee the establishment of a Greater Hobart Act, which will connect the four Greater Hobart councils – Hobart City Council, Clarence City Council, Glenorchy City Council and Kingborough Council – so as to better facilitate projects under the City Deal.
The agreement will also examine options to support affordable housing in the region.
“These city deals are a big game-changer,” Mr Turnbull said.
“This is a new way to approach development and investment in our cities.
“For the first time in Hobart, you’ve got the Commonwealth, the state government and local governments all completely aligned to make this remarkable city even more remarkable, even more liveable, even more successful in the years ahead.”
The Premier said the City Deal would target the areas where Hobart has “a rare competitive advantage”.
“Our Antarctic connections, the opportunity for development in the space that is STEM, present so many opportunities for our state,” he said.
“Clearly, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to realise the potential that this plan covers.
“[This is] a shared vision – it really looks to the future of the greater city of Hobart.”
Mr Chipman, who is also the Clarence Mayor, said it was “truly an exciting day”.
“We need a vision for greater Hobart,” he said.
“It’s been growing rapidly and we’re already confronting growing pains through transport issues.
“We [the four Greater Hobart councils] look forward … to working closely with the state government to help deliver these amazing projects.”
The Hobart City Deal comes after a similar agreement was struck for Launceston, to assist in fast-tracking the UTAS relocation and the City Heart project.