A More Diverse Economy and Sustainable Jobs
Thu 17 May 2012
Minister for Economic Development
Today's State Budget contains another $5 million to diversify the Tasmanian economy and create sustainable jobs.
The funding for the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund (TGIIF) will supply grants and loans for new investments and projects in innovative industries.
"As a small, export-based economy, we must play to our natural Tasmanian strengths," Mr O'Byrne said.
"That's how you find new markets, strengthen supply chains, and create new and lasting jobs.
"Playing to our strengths is what the State Government's Economic Development Plan is all about.
"And this new funding, through the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund, provides the strategic financial support to expand and broaden these key sustainable industries," he said.
Consistent with the Economic Development Plan, the fund will have two components:
- One is focused on encouraging innovation and investment by existing Tasmanian businesses.
- The second is designed to help get new private sector major projects over the line.
"This first component of the fund will provide valuable stimulus to Tasmania's economy," Mr O'Byrne said.
"We'll be seeking applications from innovative companies that are keen to try new things or do old things in a new way.
"It's about boosting the growth of our small to medium enterprises, by making innovative changes to unlock new opportunities," he said.
The second fund component will be used to identify and leverage new private sector investment in major projects, through Invest Tasmania.
That includes assistance like grants or interest rate concessions on viable loan proposals, where the support is needed to secure the project for Tasmania.
"Tasmania has attracted near-record private investment of $4.5 billion over the past year," Mr O'Byrne said.
"The second arm of this fund will help to strategically attract even more sustainable investment and jobs into our community.
"The Economic Development Plan reaffirmed the Government's commitment to providing direct loan assistance to businesses or projects that can significantly boost supply chains, investment, and jobs in industries with a sustainable future," he said.
Proposals for assistance through Invest Tasmania will be considered by the Tasmanian Development Board - which will take into account its current Financial Assistance to Industry principles, such as strategic benefit, sustainability and value for money.
"With world markets changing rapidly, the Tasmanian economy is also in transition," Mr O'Byrne said.
"The Tasmanian Government is getting directly involved by offering practical support and a strategy for growth," Mr O'Byrne said.
The TGIIF will require recipients to at least match the total amount of grant funding provided.