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Coalition government's $100M-plus commitment to Tasmania

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Warren Truss

Coalition government’s $100M-plus commitment to Tasmania

23rd October, 2013

THE Australian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to a strong and prosperous Tasmania.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, today announced that as part of its support for the Tasmanian economy the Government would deliver on its pre-election commitment to provide more than $100 million in an economic package for Tasmania.

This package is in addition to other initiatives associated with the Government’s Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania.

“The Government’s Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania will fund projects aimed at stimulating Tasmania’s economy by supporting economic growth and jobs,” Mr Truss said.

“It provides real action, making a difference to people’s lives in terms of growth, jobs and raising living standards.”

Mr Truss said major initiatives under the Plan included $38 million to expand Hobart International Airport. The Government will also secure Hobart as a world centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research by providing $24 million to establish a new Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean research.

The Government would invest $400 million in the upgrade of the Midland Highway and would create a Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency to act as a one-stop-shop for new major projects requiring Commonwealth approvals.

“Through the Economic Growth Plan for Tasmania, we will implement a jobs program that will provide a payment of $3,250 to Tasmanian businesses hiring long term unemployed job seekers,” he said.

“We will implement a Productivity Commission review into Tasmania’s shipping costs, the competitiveness of Tasmania’s freight industry structure and the equity and effectiveness of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation and the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Schemes.”

“We will also maintain support for long term regional Forest Agreements, promote the expansion of the fruit and vegetable industry by creating a Fruit and Vegetable Industry Taskforce and protect Tasmania’s share of the GST.”

Mr Truss said the Plan would be supported by the creation of a joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council that would include the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and representatives of Tasmanian business and the State Government.

“Funding of a long list of planned projects supports the economic development of Tasmania and provides much needed certainty to local businesses and communities,” he said.

“All projects will be subject to the Government being satisfied that the project represents value for money following an assessment and risk analysis.

“My Department is currently in discussions with the Tasmanian Government to settle the most effective manner to progress grant approvals.”

Project proponents will be contacted shortly and advised of how projects can be assessed and implemented in a timely manner.