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Eslake values STEM at $2.75b

Respected economist Saul Eslake believes the University of Tasmania’s proposed but unfunded STEM project in Hobart’s CBD would add about $2.75 billion to the State’s gross product over 10 years. Mr Eslake said the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) project — which has been praised by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and has received priority status from Infrastructure Australia — would bring similar benefits to Tasmania as have been delivered by similar projects overseas. “The proposal will create 755 jobs during construction, and at least 190 on-going academic and other staff jobs, increase student numbers by around 1,500 (including 600 international or interstate students),” Mr Eslake said. “Hobart has much in common with regional cities in Europe and North America where the development of education and innovation precincts has demonstrably helped to revitalise urban areas, create jobs, enhance skills, foster collaboration between educational institutions and industry and accelerate economic growth.” The project, set for the corner of Melville and Argyle streets, is the centrepiece of a likely Federal Government City Deal for Hobart and has been endorsed by 11 southern Tasmanian mayors as the region’s top funding priority.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

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