In 1849 when the Launceston Chamber of Commerce was formed, the city had to develop its own resources to prosper and it has been fundamentally a centre of private enterprise since.
As Launceston’s economy has transitioned over the ensuing 169 years, it has been the entrepreneurs and innovators who have led the city and surrounds through those changes.
Our river-side city is now rising on another uplift, but unlike the tin mining boom, the wool boom, the growth in forest-based industries and smelting, it is a little harder to pin down precisely what ‘industry’ is responsible.
This is in great measure is because there is no real one driver – our current optimism is driven across many sectors.
Underpinning significant investment is the growth in the visitor economy.
This growth is driven by many factors, but significant levels of investment have been made to fill the shortfalls in accommodation for visitors.
Examples such as the Hawthorn Football Club essentially filling this city on game weekends are clear and well-accepted.
The promising university relocation project on the horizon sparks a great deal of optimism and the impact on the wider economy is huge.
From an educational and aspirational standpoint, the university precinct being close to the city places tertiary education in the front of all people.
The Newnham campus has many faults, key among them is the tucked away nature of the site.
Creating a university environment on the edge of the CBD is a critical pathway to embracing education and independent thought.
It will also increase business for our city’s traders by bringing more people into the heart of Launceston.
The University College is another important initiative which will bring enterprise and education close together and create more pathways into higher education.
The city is on a clear and exciting upward trajectory, fuelled in great part by forward thinking businesses and creative individuals - it is a fantastic time to be doing business in Launceston.
- NEIL GROSE IS THE LAUNCESTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EXECUTIVE OFFICER