A Shorten Labor Government will invest $150 million in the education-driven economic revival of North and North-Western Tasmania to improve education outcomes and deliver jobs. 

Under the $300 million co-investment plan with the University of Tasmania, two new campuses will be constructed at Inveresk in Launceston and West Park in Burnie. 

It will create 3,110 jobs, including 265 additional academic and professional staff jobs and support 12 000 new students into higher education in North and North-West Tasmania 

The plan is estimated to deliver $1.1 billion economic output during the construction phase alone and an additional $428 million a year in economic activity. 

Project partners UTAS will provide $75 million towards the plan which will provide high quality, work ready, affordable associate degrees programs which are aligned to what industry needs, meaning more students into jobs. 

Federal Labor today calls on the State Government to match the university and commit the final $75 million to make this project happen. 

Today’s announcement follows tireless work and campaigning by Labor’s Candidate for Bass, Ross Hart and Labor’s Candidate for Braddon, Justine Keay to make this happen. 

Over the last 12 months Labor’s Tasmania Taskforce has engaged with local communities in a frank conversation about how best to get Tasmania moving again.  

Tasmanians - in each and every conversation and submission – have raised education as the key factor to power additional jobs and prosperity. 

The University of Tasmania presented their proposal to the Tasmania Taskforce and have made a compelling case for a project that will transform Tasmania’s future. 

This co-investment will both increase higher education participation and attainment in Tasmania, as well as underpin growth and prosperity in North and North-West Tasmania. 

Tasmania continues to fall behind the rest of Australia in educational outcomes and rates of youth unemployment remain too high. 

Tasmania has the country’s lowest proportion of higher education attainment, with just 14.2 percent of people having successfully completed university compared with 19.9 percent in NSW and 20.8 percent in Victoria.  

This low level of educational attainments continue to put a hold on economy growth and productivity in Tasmania. 

Analysis shows that Tasmania is an ideal pilot location for this type of facility, and the potential expansion of Associate Degrees as a way of addressing educational disadvantage more broadly across the country. 

We are letting young Tasmanians down by not equipping them with the skills they need and disadvantaging businesses who want to employ Tasmanians and grow. 

Labor’s investment will help young Tasmanians to get the education they need to get a job and support a stronger economic future for the state. 

This approach will help build a more skilled and better qualified workforce, in an economy which is in transition from its traditional commodity and manufacturing base to the knowledge and service industries of the future.  

The University of Tasmania believes that up to 35,000 eligible Tasmanians are not going to university when they could – this investment will change that.

While the Liberals' agenda to deregulate our higher education sector would see our regional campuses in Burnie and Launceston close their doors, Labor’s investment will ensure they not also stay open, but grow. 

Only Labor has a positive plan for higher education. The Liberals plans for universities revolve around $100,000 and huge cuts, which will hurt universities in places like Tasmania the hardest.  It would see regional campuses in Burnie and Launceston close their doors.     

Labor’s positive plan for higher education includes -


1.    Introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee, which will deliver $2,500 more per student than the Liberals, and remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt.

2.    Increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.

3.    Invest $31 million in Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency to boost the quality of teaching and resources in our universities.

4.    Establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.

5.    Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise.

6.    Boost the number of young Australians taking up STEM courses at university as well as offering 25,000 Teach STEM Scholarships and upskilling 25,000 teachers.

7.    Deliver more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university.


Only Labor is committed to investing in higher education to create and sustain the jobs of the future.

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