The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has again raised the UTas STEM project in Federal Parliament.

A transcript of his speech follows.

“Deputy Speaker I rise today to support the University of Tasmania’s proposal for a science, technology, engineering and maths facility in the Hobart CBD. This is an incredibly worthwhile project and the $400m required would be a small price to pay for a revitalised and reinvigorated Hobart. Indeed Deputy Speaker we need to boost our investment in STEM to keep up with our region, as the percentage of graduates with a STEM background is only 18 per cent in Australia compared to 35 and 47 per cent in Singapore and China respectively.

Deputy Speaker the UTas proposal is for a brand new STEM precinct on 23,000 square metres. It would create 700 construction jobs and generate $3.3bn in economic activity, as well as providing a home for over 5,200 staff and students. It would also provide UTas medical researchers in Liverpool Street with ready access to physicists and engineers to help with the development of medical equipment and biotechnology.

Deputy Speaker this proposal is on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list and I’m heartened by the Prime Minister’s personal interest he showed about this project in Question Time a few weeks ago. The business case is now with the Government and I hope they get on board and fund this much-needed project.”

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