Home' API Magazine : November 2014 Contents 104 n APIMAGAZINE.COM.AU n NOVEMBER 2014
he new Living City master plan aims
to highlight Tassie’s northwest tourism
attractions as well as inject funds
and jobs into the local economy.
Admittedly, Devonport is on the smaller
side, with its resident population of about
25,000 give or take, but this picturesque city,
located beside both the Mersey River and the
Bass Strait, has big plans to become a vibrant
Devonport is also Tasmania’s main sea
gateway with two ships sailing between its port
and Melbourne each day. The city’s mayor Steve
Martin says the region grows some of the best
produce in the world and is one of the biggest
suppliers of seafood.
“It’s the place for the freshest of the region’s
bountiful harvest and gestation of gourmet
food and wine, with views which are rugged
and stunning,” he says.
And it’s these key ingredients that Martin
wants to highlight through the $250 million
Living City project. The plan has wide support
from the corporate sector and community
consultation has been a key element of the
process. The master plan has three proposed
precincts – business and services, retail and a
bustling new waterfront.
“We’re going to have a fresh food market
which will be a promotion of Tasmania’s quality
food and fine wines. So this will be the place
where people can have a taste, and a teaser, for
the rest of the region,” Martin says.
“It’s about having that attraction for people
to come to Devonport and it will enhance the
local CBD area.”
Sick and tired of being Hobart and Launceston’s poor
cousin, the coastal city of Devonport has a multimillion-
dollar development plan to rejuvenate its city centre.
DINAH LEWIS BOUCHER [@DinahBoucher]
The target date to have it all finished is 2022.
“We’re optimistic. We think it’s around about
eight years if all of our ducks line up,” he says.
A significant percentage of visitors who
arrive by ship usually head off to other parts
of Tasmania but Martin wants them to stay
“What we’re trying to do is promote
Devonport as a place you can base yourself,”
“This has been a culmination of 30 years’
vision to change and rejuvenate the heart of
Devonport is Tasmania’s third largest city after
Hobart and Launceston. And while the whole
of Tasmania is known for its natural beauty,
it’s also the larger two cities that attract the
majority of tourists.
“What we need to do is become that third
destination,” Martin says.
“Retain our visitors and showcase the region’s
beauty, attractions and experiences.”
While the local commercial market is
reasonably firm, Opteon Devonport’s managing
director, David Johnston, says there are a few
“We’ve seen some reduction in rental levels
in certain sectors of the market. People have
been dropping their rents to keep their tenants
because they’ve been struggling.
“I’ll be honest, we’ve got a few vacancies in the
main areas in town, before you’d never see that.”
Generally visitors come for a variety of
reasons but the most alluring factor is the
availability of jobs.
“At the moment Tassie is one of the worst
state’s for unemployment so we can’t ignore
that. But fundamentally agriculture is still
fairly firm and that’s what the town feeds off,”
In terms of Devonport’s residential property
market, Collins Real Estate senior sales
consultant Peter Colgrave says the market has
“Sales have been fairly good in the past few
months,” he says.
“The comment that people make is there’s
been a few more sold stickers around.”
The median house price for Devonport is
$250,000 and Colgrave says this will buy you
a fairly decent brick or weatherboard three-
“And that’s our market – anywhere from
$200,000 up to about $280,000 or $290,000.
You get a few sales over $300,000 and
sometimes $400,000,” Colgrave says.
“Our house (prices) are fairly reasonable
compared to the rest of Australia.”
And Colgrave can’t help but be impressed
with the new master plan.
“That’s probably one of the boldest things ever
undertaken by any city in Tasmania,” he says.
Many locals, including high profile business
leaders, are confidently backing the move,
according to Colgrave, who is also a Devonport
resident of some 40 years.
“The council has backed this to the hilt, which
is something you don’t often see,” he says.
“You’ve got to give people a reason to come.
Bearing in mind, this isn’t going to just benefit
Devonport, it’ll benefit the entire coastal region.
“It’s a bold move but a positive one.” API
“We’re going to have a fresh food market
which will be a promotion of Tasmania’s
quality food and fine wines.”
MAYOR STEVE MARTIN
THE STATES n TAS
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