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City of hobart






Special Governance Committee Meeting


Open Portion


Monday, 7 August 2017


at 4:40 pm

Lady Osborne Room, Town Hall






Our mission is to ensure good governance of our capital City.


The Council is:


about people

We value people – our community, our customers and colleagues.


We take pride in our work.


We look for ways to create value.


We’re accessible and focused on service.


We respect diversity in people and ideas.

making a difference

We recognise that everything we do shapes Hobart’s future.




Agenda (Open Portion)

Special Governance Committee Meeting

Page 3







Business listed on the agenda is to be conducted in the order in which it is set out, unless the committee by simple majority determines otherwise.



1.        Co-Option of a Committee Member in the event of a vacancy  4

2.        Indications of Pecuniary and Conflicts of Interest. 4

3.        Transfer of Agenda Items. 4

4          Reports. 5

4.1     Notice of Motion – City Deal to Support UTAS’ STEM Proposal 5



Agenda (Open Portion)

Special Governance Committee Meeting

Page 4





Special Governance Committee Meeting (Open Portion) held Monday, 7 August 2017 at 4:40 pm in the Lady Osborne Room, Town Hall.



Ruzicka (Chairman)

Deputy Lord Mayor Christie






Lord Mayor Hickey







Apologies: Nil.



Leave of Absence:

Lord Mayor Hickey


1.       Co-Option of a Committee Member in the event of a vacancy

2.       Indications of Pecuniary and Conflicts of Interest

Ref: Part 2, Regulation 8(7) of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015.


Aldermen are requested to indicate where they may have any pecuniary or conflict of interest in respect to any matter appearing on the agenda, or any supplementary item to the agenda, which the committee has resolved to deal with.




3.       Transfer of Agenda Items

Regulation 15 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015.


A committee may close a part of a meeting to the public where a matter to be discussed falls within 15(2) of the above regulations.


In the event that the committee transfer an item to the closed portion, the reasons for doing so should be stated.


Are there any items which should be transferred from this agenda to the closed portion of the agenda, or from the closed to the open portion of the agenda?


Item No. 4.1

Agenda (Open Portion)

Special Governance Committee Meeting

Page 6





4        Reports


4.1    Notice of Motion – City Deal to Support UTAS’ STEM Proposal

          File Ref: F17/95437

Report of the Economic Development Project Officer of 4 August 2017 and attachment.

Delegation:     Council

Item No. 4.1

Agenda (Open Portion)

Special Governance Committee Meeting

Page 7





REPORT TITLE:                  Notice of Motion – City Deal to Support UTAS’ STEM Proposal

REPORT PROVIDED BY:  Economic Development Project Officer


1.         Report Purpose and Community Benefit

1.1.     This report is in response to a notice of motion by Alderman Cocker raised at Council on 3 July 2017:

“That an urgent report be provided that provides UTAS’ STEM proposal as the basis of a City Deal for Hobart.”

1.2.     The community benefits associated with the delivery of the STEM precinct in Hobart are extensive and range from increased opportunities for business, increased job opportunities and increased opportunities to access education.

2.         Report Summary

2.1.     The University of Tasmania in 2016 revealed plans to move its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) research and teaching functions to the inner city.

2.2.     At a similar time the Australian Government released details of a new integrated approach to economic planning and infrastructure planning – branded as a ‘City Deal’.

2.3.     Two City Deals have been signed and capital cities have been informed that by virtue of their status, they will not have to compete for deals in the same way other cities may.

2.4.     Hobart has yet to receive its City Deal which provides an opportunity to lobby for both the content of the city deal and the timing.

2.5.     The UTAS STEM Precinct proposal is for 40,000m2 of teaching and research facilities and space for more than 3,000 students and 700 staff in the heart of the city.

2.6.     It will aid in addressing key challenges for the city and state including the lowest scientific and mathematical literacy rates, lowest wage rates and lowest population growth rates in the country.

2.7.     Tangible benefits will include job creation in construction, teaching and research, as well as opportunities for local retailers, accommodation providers and hospitality businesses.

2.8.     It is also likely that the STEM precinct will have transformative effects in the city including creating vibrancy in underutilised areas, providing graduates with opportunities to stay in Hobart and boosting tourism to Tasmania through the visiting friends and families of international students.

2.9.     Given the powerful benefits to Hobart and Tasmania, it is proposed that the City of Hobart strongly support this project at a local, state and federal level.


3.         Recommendation


1.         Council resolves that the UTAS STEM Precinct is the priority project for Hobart and should be the centrepiece of a City Deal and that at all appropriate opportunities this position is advocated.

2.         The Lord Mayor writes on behalf of the City of Hobart to the following people impressing upon them the position highlighted in part 1 of this resolution.

i)       Prime Minister - Malcom Turnbull

ii)      Angus Taylor MP Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.

iii)     Members of Parliament in the seats of Denison, Franklin and Lions.

iv)     The Premier of Tasmania - Will Hodgman.

v)      The Leader of the Opposition - Rebecca White.

vi)     The Leader of the Greens - Cassie O’Connor.

3.         Council endorses the holding of a community forum in the City Hall whereby the importance of the UTAS STEM Precinct project is discussed with the community.

4.         Council authorises the Lord Mayor and General Manager to undertake the necessary actions to bring the forum to fruition.

5.         Council develops and executes a media campaign with partners communicating the position highlighted in part 1 of this resolution.



4.         Background

4.1.     This report relates both to City Deals and the University of Tasmania STEM Precinct project which are defined and discussed below.

City Deals

4.2.     City Deals are an initiative of the current Federal Government, seeking to bring together all three layers of government to ‘make our cities better places to live in and do business.’

Through making the most of new and existing investments of governments, City Deals will strive to set out the specific investments and reforms needed to unlock business and industry development and ensure community wellbeing.

4.3.     Two deals have at this point been signed with Townsville and Launceston and a deal with Western Sydney is far advanced.

Townsville’s deal includes funding for an events stadium as well as for smaller projects including strengthening international education, the promotion of Defence industry opportunities to local business and the improvement of water security.

Launceston’s deal will see the movement of the UTAS’ Launceston campus to the heart of the city by 2020 and smaller projects including the establishment of a new Australian Army cadet facility and a hub for the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.

The Western Sydney Deal builds upon the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver a Western Sydney Airport and leverage other key infrastructure investments.

4.4.     Capital cities are said to be guaranteed a City Deal by virtue of their status but nothing has yet emerged for Hobart.

City Deal Discussions

4.5.     In order to discuss the advancement of a City Deal for Hobart, the General Manager and Council staff have met with the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

As well as timelines, discussions were had about what projects may be included in a deal.

4.6.     Through membership of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, the General Manager has further discussed City Deals with senior Federal Government staff in the Department of Infrastructure.

The Lord Mayor also very recently met with Angus Taylor MP (Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation) who is assisting the Prime Minister with the progression of City Deals.

The purpose of this informal meeting was to outline the reasons why the Government should be considering Hobart for a City Deal in the near future. This was also to stress the importance of the UTAS STEM Precinct proposal as the centrepiece of a City Deal for Hobart.

4.7.     Research and discussions to date clearly demonstrate that a City Deal should not merely be a list of projects that a city needs money to deliver. The raison d’etre should be solving significant challenges facing the region or state in an integrated way.

4.8.     A recent study commissioned by the University of Tasmania articulates some such challenges facing Tasmania:

·    Lowest proportion of people without a bachelor’s degree.

·    Lowest average levels of scientific and mathematical literacy in the country.

·    Industries almost 20% less productive than the national economy.

·    Lowest weekly full-time wages in the country.

·    One in four people below or very close to the poverty line.

·    Lowest population growth rate in Australia.

4.9.     The same study goes on to detail how the University STEM Precinct is the crucial element of a Hobart Innovation Precinct which in turn forms part of a Tasmanian Innovation Network.

It is asserted that the Tasmanian Innovation Network will bring together what is needed to address the challenges above.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths)

4.10.   STEM is a proposal developed by the University of Tasmania for a $400 million Science and Technology Precinct based in the inner city. This will include:

·    40,000m2 of teaching and research facilities.

·    Space for more than 3,000 students and 700 staff

·    Design and landscaping that will encourage and facilitate community participation.

4.11.   The key drivers of the project as stated by the Vice-Chancellor Peter Rathjien are to:

·    Build the island state’s capacity in the crucial STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

·    Deliver high-level inter-disciplinary research with the potential to create new economic sectors across the state.

·    Attract new future-facing enterprises and industries to the state.

4.12.   The aforementioned study commissioned by the University of Tasmania considers the impact the Hobart Innovation Precinct will have for the whole of Tasmania in the short, medium and long term:

4.13.   More people in the city means projects that are currently struggling for financial viability based on population size such as sustainable transport options become more relevant.

4.14.   STEM has received significant support locally, regionally and nationally. It is the only education based project to be included in Infrastructure Australia’s priority list and the only project from Tasmania categorised as ‘near term’.

4.15.   Mayors from Hobart, Clarence, Kingborough, Brighton, Derwent Valley, Sorell, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Central Highlands, Southern Midlands and Tasman councils and commissioners for Huon Valley and Glenorchy have all advocated for the STEM precinct to be the number one infrastructure project for Tasmania. This story was featured in the Mercury newspaper on July 27 (Attachment A).

4.16.   Based on the above, it is logical for the Council to advocate for STEM as a priority project in its own right. It is of equal importance that the Council also advocates for the STEM project to be the centrepiece of a City Deal for Hobart.

5.         Proposal and Implementation

5.1.     It is proposed that the City of Hobart advocates for UTAS’ STEM Precinct to be a priority project as well as the centrepiece of a City Deal for Hobart. Advocacy will take many forms including via informal conversations, formal correspondence and formal meetings and will relate to the contact that City of Hobart Aldermen and officers have with the State and Federal Government, as well as the media.

5.2.     It is proposed that the City of Hobart commence discussions with partners such as UTAS and the Mercury newspaper about bringing the community together via a forum to discuss the importance of STEM.

This would be an open community forum with a panel of expert speakers who would discuss the merits of STEM and what it means for Hobart and Tasmania. Time would also be allocated for comments and questions from the community.

It is intended that the forum be operated in partnership with UTAS and the Mercury newspaper, similar to the UTAS / Mercury Transport Forum staged in the Town Hall on 2 March 2017.

5.3.     It is further proposed that the City of Hobart develop and execute a media campaign reinforcing Council’s position on the STEM project. As part of this media campaign, the City of Hobart will actively seek community leaders in different fields to join the advocacy efforts. Social media could be an effective medium in which local leaders could express their support.

6.         Strategic Planning and Policy Considerations

6.1.     Advocacy for the STEM project as the priority project for Hobart and the centrepiece of a City Deal is in line with the following:

6.1.1.     Capital City Strategic Plan 2015-2025

1.1.2 Support the University of Tasmania’s continued growth within the city.

1.1.3 Understand and develop opportunities that occur from the inner-city growth in the education sector.

7.         Financial Implications

7.1.     Funding Source and Impact on Current Year Operating Result

7.1.1.     Costs associated with the staging of a community forum would be to be attributed to the City Government Function of the 2017/18 Annual Plan.

7.2.     Impact on Future Years’ Financial Result

7.2.1.     Should the STEM Precinct be delivered in the city, it is anticipated that a number of infrastructure changes will be necessary to support the development. These will have financial implications and will be considered in subsequent reports.

7.3.     Asset Related Implications

7.3.1.     None.

8.         Legal, Risk and Legislative Considerations

8.1.     A policy position is sought from the Council which may result in advocacy. Supporting the STEM Precinct in this way does not require legal, risk and legislative consideration.

9.         Environmental Considerations

9.1.     It would be anticipated that should the City Deal for Hobart include the STEM Precinct as the centrepiece, the new buildings will be constructed in line with UTAS’ ‘Sustainable Built Environment Designs Policy’ that states:

“…all building projects costing more than $5 million must be designed to meet at least a 5 Star Green Star Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.”

10.      Social and Customer Considerations

10.1.   One of the main drivers for the STEM Precinct project is to help address a number of inequalities present either within the state of Tasmania or between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Aforementioned inequalities include:

·      Lowest average levels of scientific and mathematical literacy in the country.

·      Lowest weekly full-time wages in the country.

·      One in four people below or very close to the poverty line.

It is therefore felt likely that support for this project is support for improvements to the lives of the community.

11.      Marketing and Media

11.1.   The essence of this report centres around the Council taking a public stance to advocate for UTAS STEM Precinct as the priority project for Hobart and the centrepiece of a City Deal.

The involvement of internal marketing and both internal and external forms of media is therefore paramount to ensure that this message is effectively communicated.

12.      Community and Stakeholder Engagement

12.1.   The following people were consulted in the writing of this report:

·    General Manager

13.      Delegation

13.1.   This matter is one for the Council.


As signatory to this report, I certify that, pursuant to Section 55(1) of the Local Government Act 1993, I hold no interest, as referred to in Section 49 of the Local Government Act 1993, in matters contained in this report.


Lucy Knott

Economic Development Project Officer



Date:                            4 August 2017

File Reference:          F17/95437



Attachment a:             STEM Support from Southern Mayors   


Agenda (Open Portion)

Special Governance Committee Meeting

Page 15





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