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Jobs and the economy – more COVID relief

Over the four-years of the Budget and Forward Estimates, the Gutwein Government expects their economic plan will support around 28,000 jobs.  

COVID continues to require more business support with $10 million in funding, matched by another $10 million from the Federal Government for a comprehensive business support package.   

There will be more support for the tourism industry, which is vitally important to the state, with $18 million for additional marketing funds to promote Tasmania to the World and ensure a strong revival for industry post-pandemic, as well as a $145 million investment into parks and reserves.   

Health – record funding

Health is a key focus of the budget as it was in the election campaign. The new funding includes a further $52 million for in-home and local community delivered services to complement a record investment in infrastructure developments at Tasmanian major public hospitals. A health Workforce 2040 Strategy, which will shape Tasmania’s health workforce, was provided with $15.7 million over four years.   

Climate Change – opportunities from threats

The State Government is set to establish a new agency – Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania – to foster investment in the renewable energy sector. Other areas the agency will focus on include hydrogen, the Marinus Transmission Link and Battery of the Nation projects, along with climate change adaptation and mitigation.  

Tasmania’s hydro assets gives it a net zero emission advantage and the ability to export clean energy to mainland Australia and possibly to global markets.

Education – investing at record levels

Skills is the big winner in education funding with $135 million for a new skills and training agenda. This includes $45 million for facilities upgrades and a Transition Fund to a new TasTAFE model and $10 million for the TasTAFE virtual campus.

Infrastructure – new housing supply

An ambitious infrastructure program delivers on the election announcement for $1 billion in further investment in hydro generation and ports infrastructure and $2 billion for roads and bridges.   

With growing demand for housing there is a need for new housing supply. A new Residential Land Rebate will incentivise developers to bring new residential land to market, delivering around 60,000 lots for residential development  

To provide new social housing for Tasmanians in need, there is $280 million to extend the building program including an extra 2,000 new homes by 2027.   

What’s next?

Tasmania has a strong opportunity to position the State as relatively COVID-free and powered by clean energy, building its attractiveness as both a lifestyle and business destination.  These natural advantages mean its tourism industry is likely to bounce back strongly when national borders are re-opened.   

In line with the Government’s theme for this budget, Securing Tasmania’s FutureDelivering our Plan, the next 12 months will be one of delivery of election promises and executing new investment plans – with a new eye on climate change.   

Related News and Views – Trade and Investment Update – August 2021 

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