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Delivering on our Recovery Plan

12 November 2020

Peter Gutwein MP

Premier and Treasurer

2020-21 Budget: Delivering on our Recovery Plan

The Tasmanian Liberal Government’s number one priority has been to keep Tasmanians safe and secure during the coronavirus pandemic.

The impacts of coronavirus have been felt across the world and will be with us for some time, which is exactly why we have a Plan to swiftly reboot the Tasmanian economy, restore and grow business confidence, create opportunity for investment, and support jobs.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I established the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council (PESRAC) to provide advice and recommendations on how best to mitigate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

The Tasmanian Government accepted all 64 key recommendations of PESRAC’s Interim Report.

As part of the 2020-21 State Budget, the Tasmanian Government has implemented the following measures in response to the recommendations:

  • Extended the Payroll Tax Rebate (and associated grant program for small business) to apply to all Apprentices, Trainees and Youth across all industry areas until 30 June 2022, at a cost of approximately $22 million;
  • Provided joint State-Australian Government funding of $21 million to provide low or no fee training places for job seekers, school leavers and young people looking to upskill and retrain, regardless of prior qualification attainment;
  • Supported more efficient processing of Crown Land transactions, as well as improved development assessment and approvals, ensuring the opportunities from the State’s significant infrastructure program are fully realised, at a cost of $4.6 million;
  • Provided $1.1 million in 2020‑21 and further funding of $2.1 million across the Forward Estimates to the Department of Education to implement the core infrastructure and initial phases of a Case Management Platform to deliver a cross‑agency view of learners facing vulnerability; and
  • Provided funding of $676,000 over two years to support the development of a regionally‑based model for coordinating the recovery from the COVID‑19 pandemic. This funding will ensure that the longer-term recovery efforts are flexible and scalable, regionally coordinated, and take into account the whole‑of‑government and national approach to the COVID‑19 pandemic recovery.

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.

This approach reflects the establishment of a similar central provision in 2019‑20 to assist in meeting uncertain or unknown costs associated with the COVID‑19 pandemic.

The provision initially supports response measures that align with recommendations made by PESRAC, by supporting businesses, stimulating economic activity through improving the environment, creating regional jobs and supporting young people into training and apprenticeships.

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.

To ensure we continue to have a whole‑of‑government approach to respond to COVID‑19, with resources ready and available for a pandemic, but also for other state emergencies which may arise, such as bushfires or floods, $4.4 million will be invested for an ongoing centralised COVID‑19 coordination centre for the next 12 months, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.

The remainder of the provision will be held as a contingency for COVID‑19 related health, economic and social response measures and to support the ongoing management of our response to the pandemic as well as supporting the next phase of the PESRAC’s recommendations.

We know the pandemic is not yet over and that Tasmanians continue to face challenges and that is why we are delivering on our recovery plan, sensibly easing our way back to business and life as we know it.