The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s interest in the University of Tasmania’s proposed STEM facility in Hobart.
In Question Time today, Mr Wilkie asked Malcolm Turnbull to provide assurance of Federal Government support for the project should the University’s business case stack up.
Mr Wilkie said it was pleasing to hear Mr Turnbull acknowledge the potential of the project and confirm the Government’s interest.
“While I was disappointed the Prime Minister didn’t go further, nonetheless I was very pleased to hear that he is well aware of the project, and its benefits, and is open minded to supporting it,” Mr Wilkie said. “The ball is now very much in the University’s court to come up with a first-rate business case so the Government can indeed deliver that support.
“The Prime Minister’s answer today was consistent with his reaction when I raised the project with him in our meeting on Monday. It’s also pleasing to see that Hobart is on the Government’s radar. I am certainly enjoying good access in Canberra and will continue to do my best to deliver for Denison and Tasmania.
“The University of Tasmania’s proposed STEM facility would transform Hobart and Tasmania. It’s a $400-million project that ultimately would accommodate 5,200 staff, researchers and students.
“Indeed the UTas project is nationally significant, and an Infrastructure Australia priority, because the percentage of Australian graduates with a STEM background is only 18 per cent, compared with Singapore and China which are 35 and 47 per cent respectively.”