City Deal is about building Launceston's economic capacity

 The debate over Launceston’s City Deal received a boost today with the release of a discussion paper by the Property Council entitled, “What makes a City Deal a Real Deal?

The paper lays out the framework for the best way of ensuring a City Deal creates lasting jobs for a region.

“For a City Deal to be a real deal it must engage all levels of government and it must engage with the community – because it is a contract that lasts longer than the political cycle,” said Brian Wightman, Executive Director of the Property Council.

“The focus must be jobs and laying a foundation for long term growth. That’s why any City Deal for Launceston should include the relocation of the University of Tasmania and the City Heart Project.

“We need to build consensus and get this right,” he said.

For the Launceston City Deal to hit the mark, it must include the following:

  • The UTAS relocation;
  • The City Heart Project;
  • Private investment leverage;
  • Water and sewerage reform;
  • Public transport infrastructure;
  • Traffic management;
  • Digital connectivity; and the
  • Reactivation of the Newnham site, and the Northern Suburbs.

“There is a lot happening in Tasmania and that is fantastic, but we must be planning for the long-term rather than simply expecting that this current growth will continue forever.”

Mr. Wightman also said that a real City Deal will only work if it focused on the long-term and is based on a broad bipartisan consensus about the future of Launceston.

“We need to do things differently if we are to put Launceston on a sustainable long-term footing and the best place to start is with the City Deal.

“The Property Council looks forward to engaging with all levels of government including the Launceston City Council and the Office of the Coordinator General as we assist to articulate a vision for Launceston.

“It remains essential that we, as a community, support this once in a generation game-changer.

“Our industry believes in City Deals. We have been calling for them for two years and we believe, if properly developed, they can be the source of jobs and continuous economic growth.”



1. A clear objective: Economic productivity and growth

2. A deal is a deal – a contract between all levels of government

3. Core challenge is growth

4. Medium to long term horizon

5. A framework for investment and action

6. Built to last – through political and economic cycles

7. Based on deep consultation

8. Consolidate existing government funding

9. Encourages private sector innovation

10. Success gets rewarded – ongoing funding is linked to performance



City Deals have the potential to drive economic growth in our regions. However, even the best policy idea can fail if it is poorly designed or executed. Here are five potential traps to avoid a City Deal becoming a ‘dud deal’.

City Deals shouldn’t just be…

1. A quick headline - with no long-term plan for creating growth, jobs and improved productivity in our cities.

2. A project wish list – an infrastructure wish list that bears no relationship to the core objective of economic growth, project benefit or funding reality.

3. A toothless tiger – a document that doesn’t shape the infrastructure investment decisions of federal, state, territory and local governments.

4. An every child gets a prize approach – a failure to transparently assess and set out strategies to deliver economic reform, and stick to the plan for realizing them.

5. Ivory tower planning – a document produced with little or no community or stakeholder engagement.

Read the National media release here, or download the City Deals discussion paper below.