Council welcomes Federal Government’s further LIVING CITY commitment

Published on 23 July 2018

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The Devonport City Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s further $10 million commitment for the development of public parkland, which is an essential component of the LIVING CITY project’s waterfront precinct.

In making the announcement, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the funding backs the Liberal and Nationals Government’s commitment to regional development.

“This is a game-changing project for regional Tasmania and will realise Council’s long held vision to open the central business district to the Mersey River, attracting tourists as well as benefiting locals,” Mr McCormack said.  

“Around Australia, the Liberal and Nationals Government is investing in regional communities to help them grow and prosper. We all know that when the regions are strong so too is our nation and this Government is passionate about promoting the regions.”

Acting Mayor Annette Rockliff said the waterfront precinct was the final piece of an enticing visitor hub for the North West Coast and would feature a riverside park, hotel and apartment complex.

The waterfront project has a total cost of $55 million with Council providing $5 million for public infrastructure and parkland and the Federal Government $10 million. 

The $40 million hotel and apartment complex is being privately developed.

``The creation of public parklands throughout the remainder of the waterfront precinct is essential to the hotel and to achieving the goals of the LIVING CITY Masterplan of creating a tourist hub and opening the city centre to the river,’’ Ald. Rockliff said.

``In addition, the realisation of a hotel in this area will complement the conference facilities, food pavilion and cultural arts centre currently being built adjacent to the site, enabling these facilities to reach their full potential.

``We certainly welcome the Federal Government’s $10 million commitment to the second stage after its initial contribution of $10 million to Stage One.’’

Ald. Rockliff said the waterfront precinct would enable the region to capitalise on Tasmania’s only passenger ferry service, the Spirit of Tasmania, through the creation of a major tourist gateway and destination in its own right. 

``The creation of a Waterfront Precinct is the next stage and considered the jewel in the crown of the LIVING CITY project. It will realise Council’s long held vision to open the CBD to the magnificent Mersey River, attracting tourists as well as benefiting locals,’’ she said.   

Ald. Rockliff said the waterfront parkland would become the major outdoor informal leisure space for the city as well as hosting large regional events throughout the year.

The highlight of the waterfront parkland will be an elevated pathway to the Mersey River connecting the hotel and public realm with a floating pontoon open to the public on the Mersey River. 

The parkland will also create a pedestrian link from the mall and another from the library/conference centre/food pavilion to the river.

Other components of the parkland include a Tasmanian endemic garden, nature-based children’s play space, outdoor public art/ sculptures and amphitheatre and stage.

The Nationals’ Senator for Tasmania, Steve Martin, said he was thrilled to see the project he championed as Mayor come to fruition thanks to his work in Government.

“The project will bolster Tasmania’s growing tourism market, helping the north west capitalise on Tasmania’s only passenger ferry service – the Spirit of Tasmania – through the creation of a major tourist gateway and destination in its own right,” Senator Martin said.

“This vital project will generate significant economic benefits with hundreds of jobs during the construction period and an estimated 830 on-going full-time direct operational jobs,” Senator Martin said.  

Ald. Rockliff said since the inception of LIVING CITY, $20 million in Federal funding was considered necessary.

LIVING CITY is the largest urban renewal project ever undertaking in regional Tasmania and will transform the North West Region through the creation of new tourism opportunities, food experiences and business prospects.  The LIVING CITY Master Plan adopted by Council in 2014 will roll out over the next decade with the $70 million Stage One nearing completion.

LIVING CITY will generate significant economic benefits with hundreds of jobs during the construction period and an estimated 830 on-going full-time direct operational jobs.

It will inject an estimated $112 million annually into the regional economy once the Master Plan is fully implemented.

With this announcement Council will now commence the detailed design work with the aim of starting construction during 2019.

Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council

03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |ntapp@devonport.tas.gov.au