An economic and local jobs boost is on its way for Launceston following today’s announcement of the successful tenderer for construction of the University of Tasmania’s new Library and Student Experience building.
Northern Tasmanian company, Vos Construction and Joinery has been awarded the first major construction contract of the works which will mean a $21.7 million injection into the local economy.
The UTAS campus relocation – which includes construction of the buildings – is the centrepiece of the $453.4 million Launceston City Deal.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the Morrison Government’s $254 million Launceston City Deal investment would help provide an economic boost for Northern Tasmania.
“This City Deal will be an important part of our job maker agenda, with construction of this project alone creating hundreds of local jobs so it's jobs now and for the future and it's creating opportunities for young people,” Mr Tudge said.
“It will help the University of Tasmania connect with the economy and lifestyle of the CBD, injecting life and a financial boost across the city.”
The UTAS project will create around 430 jobs during construction – 20 per cent will be apprentices and trainees – and around 230 ongoing jobs.
Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Australian Government’s $130 million investment in the new Inveresk campus will provide access to world class teaching, learning and research facilities and support the future of science and research in Northern Tasmania.
“Development of the new Inveresk campus is expected to attract 10,000 students by 2032 and will support delivery of courses that address skills shortages and the needs of communities in North and North West Tasmania,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Launceston Institute of Applied Science and Design will leverage the region’s strengths in STEM, establish linkages with local industries and support the creation of new jobs.”
Tasmanian Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson said the Tasmanian Government was pleased to contribute $60 million towards the campus relocation as part of its $119 million overall investment in the Launceston City Deal.
“Revitalising our city, boosting our economy and creating a more vibrant environment for students will also help generate many job opportunities from construction work, including apprenticeships, to academic and university support roles,” Mr Ferguson said.
“This project is about connecting this campus to the heart of Launceston and sending a very clear message to young and older Tasmanians that education is for you.
“Under the partnership between the three levels of government and UTAS, we are seeing massive investment in our city and we can all look forward to more generations of Tasmanians seeing their future life potential being achieved through better education pathways.”
Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer said early works started in late January to prepare the foundations for the new Library and Student Experience building.
“This will be the first of three new university buildings that will be developed at Inveresk between now and 2024,” Ms Archer said.
“Following the completion of the library in 2021, we look forward to the whole relocation being complete by 2024.
“There will be a staged approach to construction that will maximise economic benefit and support local industry.”
Launceston Mayor Albert Van Zetten said the partnership across governments had worked well, ensuring the delivery of the library and services building and boosting prosperity in northern Tasmania.
“For me, it's the long-term impact on our community, helping people through education, not only in Launceston, but the region and all of Tasmania,” Cr Van Zetten said.
“The City Deal is continuing to deliver for our city. We want to continue to work together to ensure that we get that investment of the dollars into this city to make this community an even better community than it is today.
“We want to develop Launceston to be one of the great regional cities of the world.”
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the project had enormous direct and indirect benefits for the local economy at a time when they were sorely needed.
“We are pleased to be supporting Tasmania now as construction moves ahead, as well as for all this project will deliver in the future,” Professor Black said.
“Alongside creating more educational opportunities and distinctive, contemporary campuses for Tasmanian students, supporting the regional economy has always been an important goal for the University and our partners.
“In these challenging times, certainty and strong forward momentum on the project is vital - funding is securely in place, planning is well advanced and our work schedule remains on track.”