Tasmanian community leaders must stand together for STEM

The Property Council of Australia today encouraged all stakeholders to support the University of Tasmania’s push for the STEM project as a catalyst for a Hobart City Deal.

Executive Director Brian Wightman said that the Tasmanian Division was keen to support investment and development underpinned by the education sector.

“STEM is a development of both State and national significance which requires the support of all Tasmanians.

“The project will not only deliver investment for Hobart, it will drive increased research and training opportunities state-wide with nodes at Inveresk and West Park key elements of the University’s proposed Tasmanian Innovation Network.

“Tasmania must continue to deliver positive educational investment which encourages our young people to aspire to secure the highly skilled jobs which will be required as the result of a transitioning economy.

“An education economy can be a reality, with ongoing jobs in the property and construction industry, along with enhanced training opportunities a preferred future.

“But for STEM to eventuate, all levels of Government, the opposition, and industry leaders must be on the same page, advocating for the substantial funds required.

The Tasmanian Division noted that the community must remain cognisant of the many economic and social challenges which place a handbrake on growth in our State.

“With the lowest weekly full-time wages in the country, health levels that historically lag the nation, and in a State with a dispersed regional population, we also have the lowest percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree in the country, which is a major impediment to improving on this situation.

“When you combine these challenges, it is little wonder that Tasmania needs to receive $1.88 in GST for every $1 collected.

“A goal of continuous economic growth will only eventuate in Tasmania through investment in education,” he said.

The Tasmanian Division applauded the local government sector for getting behind the push for a STEM facility.

“The twelve southern councils have shown great leadership in joining forces to champion the STEM proposal.

“Credit should be given to leaders who put the good of the State before politicking,” he said.

Mr Wightman said that there were lessons to be learned from the Launceston City Deal.

“To provide the best possible chance of ensuring that STEM is funded, stakeholders must be united early, and bring their respective communities along with them to ensure that we are not ignored.

“The Property Council played a significant role in leading the community conversation regarding the Launceston City Deal.  Now is the time for all stakeholders to join with the southern councils and the Property Council in doing the same to help secure a Hobart City Deal around the STEM project,” he said.

Media contact:  Brian Wightman  |E  bwightman@propertycouncil.com.au