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Jobs. Confidence. Community – Rebuilding a stronger Tasmania

12 November, 2020

Peter Gutwein MP

Premier and Treasurer

2020-21 Budget: Jobs, Confidence, Community – Rebuilding a stronger Tasmania

The Tasmanian Liberal Government will roll out a landmark $5 billion infrastructure program over four years, the largest investment to ever be announced by a Tasmanian Government.

It will support around 25,000 jobs, build the intergenerational infrastructure our State needs to thrive and provide the economic stimulus to return our budget to surplus in two years.

This will increase confidence, grow our economy, attract investment, support jobs and rebuild a stronger Tasmania.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the largest shock in generations to our way of life, our society, our economy and our Budget.  We are responding to both a health crisis and an economic crisis.

It’s why we moved swiftly to put in place measures at our borders and in our community to save lives, and leveraged our strong balance sheet to save livelihoods.

With a nation-leading economy, we were in a strong financial position prior to the pandemic, and put in place the largest economic and social support package in the country, at over $1 billion, and took action to underpin our economy through our $3.1 billion Construction Blitz.

It should come as no surprise that the support we have provided has come at a cost. I have been open with Tasmanians about that from day one. However, importantly, as our economy returns to growth, there is a pathway back to the black with a return to a modest surplus in 2022‑23.

In addition to our COVID support measures, the 2020-21 Budget will provide the economic platform needed to rebuild Tasmania, allocating $5 billion towards building the infrastructure our State needs.

We will build intergenerational infrastructure for our communities, we are backing Tasmanian business, supporting their recovery and growth, and making it easier for them to employ.

We are investing even more into education and skills, to ensure more Tasmanians have the ability to grasp the opportunities and lead a more fulfilling life.

We are investing more into housing, health and essential services around our State, as well as investments in programs and resources to keep our communities safe.

We are future‑proofing our industries and investing to protect the Tasmanian way of life.

We will continue to back businesses to recover, and make it easier for them to hire apprentices and trainees.

We will support our critical industries to grow and capitalise on our competitive advantages, including renewable energy, tourism and agriculture.

The 2020-21 Budget includes:

  • $9.8 billion for hospitals and health services to build a better health system for all Tasmanians;
  • $7.5 billion into education and skills, schools and TasTAFE, to give Tasmanians greater opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, a strong economy;
  • $2.4 billion for better and safer roads; and
  • more than $300 million into social and affordable housing projects to support more Tasmanians.

In addition to specific commitments made and outlined in this Budget, funding of $145 million in 2020‑21 has also been allocated to a central COVID‑19 provision in Finance‑General.

Of the $145 million provision, $50 million has been allocated to initiatives to support businesses and our economy, assist women back into work, support the cultural and performing arts sector, improve our environment and invest in public housing infrastructure upgrades.

This includes:

  • $15 million for Public Housing heating and energy efficiency initiatives;
  • $10 million for a Building Projects Support Program, to bring forward community or commercial shovel ready projects to help stimulate the Tasmanian construction sector and support jobs;
  • $10 million in additional support for hospitality businesses for energy bills;
  • $10m to co-invest with the waste management sector statewide to build the infrastructure needed to collect and sort recyclable waste;
  • $2.5m for an Arts and Cultural Support fund, including grants to support performers and artists bounce back and to support the arts and cultural sector to produce new work; and
  • $2.5m for a statewide program to enable and empower more women to participate in non-traditional jobs.

Further, to ensure we continue to have a whole‑of‑government approach to respond to COVID‑19 and also for other state emergencies which may arise, this Budget will also invest $4.4 million for an ongoing centralised COVID‑19 coordination centre for the next 12 months, in partnership with the Australian Government.

Additionally, we want to ensure businesses are confident and prepared to take on more apprentices, trainees and young people.

To guarantee our businesses are incentivised to hire apprentices and trainees, we will extend our successful Payroll Tax Rebate Scheme and Small Business Grants schemes, for a further 12 months until 30 June 2022, and we will broaden these schemes to all industries.

These schemes are already supporting nearly 4,000 apprentices, trainees and young people and we expect these initiatives to support an additional 4,000 new full‑time jobs for apprentices, trainees and youth employees.

This will be an investment of more than $22 million to significantly boost jobs for apprentices, trainees and youth employees.

We will also extend the payroll tax rebate for all youth employees for a further 18 months, from the end of this year to 30 June 2022.

This is a budget for our times, underpinning jobs and providing the certainty and confidence our community needs. It is how we will recover, stimulate our economy and rebuild a stronger Tasmania.