Business View Oceania | March 2021

37 38 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA MARCH 2021 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA MARCH 2021 C I TY OF DEVONPORT , TASMANI A LIVING CITY is one of the largest urban renewal projects undertaken in regional Tasmania and is estimated to generate $250 million in construction investment and provide up to 830 on-going jobs. The project benefits the entire north west region and is a collaboration between the three tiers of government with funding provided by the Devonport City Council, State and Federal governments. Importantly, the project also creates complementary investment opportunities for the private sector to invest and participate in the future success of Devonport. According to Atkins, “Council adopted our LIVING CITY strategy back in 2014 to really transform the city and drive economic growth. We’re now seeing that plan roll out and seeing growth and investment starting as a result. For example, there’s a 200-room hotel under construction on our waterfront. There’s a major waterfront park upgrade that’s under construction; investment in a new, large conference and city centre. Part of the LIVING CITY strategy is to embrace food, culture and the arts and we see that as critical to tourism in this area.” Stage 1 LIVING CITY is transforming Devonport through the creation of attractive new precincts, new jobs and new opportunities focused on highlighting its tourism, arts, food and service offerings. Halfway through the 10-year LIVING CITY Master Plan, Stage 1 construction is now complete, representing a $71.1 million investment. Stage 1 is incredible in its own right, delivering an award-winning new multi-purpose civic building, the paranaple centre, which is home to a state-of-the-art library, integrated customer service centre including Service Tasmania, a café, Devonport Online, Council offices and a spectacular 800-seat convention centre. The centre also includes a multi-level car park and a food and events pavilion, which showcase the region’s premium produce through become a more attractive destination. And we think that, as a result of COVID-19, we’re probably going to see that increasing as more people want to move to less populated areas.” Mayor Annette Rockliff agrees, adding, “I think that technology is going to continue to improve that as well. We’ve certainly seen during COVID that in families, children that moved away have decided to come back because they can do the work they were doing in the city from their house. They’re able to do high-tech jobs remotely – without the commute. Here at the end of the earth, we can connect with people all over the world, so that’s pretty exciting for us and a big advantage. For businesses setting up here, it’s a great lifestyle and a wonderful opportunity for employees.” As the epicentre of significant infrastructure investment in associated port and logistics services, Devonport is evolving into a sought- after place of growth and long-term prosperity. And a visionary plan known as ‘LIVING CITY’ is spurring that success. LIVING CITY In 2014, Devonport City Council adopted “LIVING CITY”, which aims to transform the region through the creation of opportunities in tourism, hospitality, arts and culture, retail and services sectors. The LIVING CITY plan intends to build on Devonport’s strategic advantages, of which it has many. Devonport is home to the Spirit of Tasmania, the state’s only passenger ferry system. Each year over 310,000 visitors arrive in Devonport on the two ferry vessels, providing the city and the north west region with a unique opportunity to capture that large tourism market. The LIVING CITY Masterplan also builds upon the region’s strong agricultural offerings by creating a food destination featuring high- quality produce from the area, which is one of the greatest food-producing regions in Australia. Devonport City Council Executive and Leadership Team Members: (from left) Michael Williams (Infrastructure and Works Manager), Kylie Lunson (Development Services Manager), Matthew Skirving (City Growth Executive Manager), Kym Peebles (People and Finance Executive Manager), Matthew Atkins (General Manager), Jeffery Griffith (Deputy General Manager), Karen Hampton (Community Services Manager) and Geoff Dobson (Convention and Art Centre Director). Devonport Councillors: (back) John Alexiou, Leigh Murphy, Peter Hollister, Gerard Enniss and Leon Perry (front) Lynn Laycock, Mayor Annette Rockliff, Sally Milbourne and Deputy Mayor Alison Jarman.