Partnership agreement to create jobs and opportunities on King Island Fri 26 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Bryan Green Deputy Premier Greg Barratt Mayor of King Island Download hi-res version A partnership agreement to promote economic development and diversification on King Island was signed today between the King Island Council and the Tasmanian Government. The agreement was signed between the Premier, Lara Giddings, the Mayor of King Island, Greg Barratt and the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government, Bryan Green. Ms Giddings said the State Government is committed to building jobs and opportunities for the people of King Island. "There is no doubt this region is facing some significant challenges caused by the sudden closure of JBS' operations," Ms Giddings said. "This partnership agreement capitalises on King Island's natural strengths, including optimal agricultural conditions, a reputation for premium quality and a passionate and resilient community. "A key initiative under the partnership agreement will be an independent feasibility study to assess the commercial viability of a new abattoir for King Island. "The State Government and the Council will also support the exploration of alternative shipping solutions for King Island and develop a King Island Freight Strategy. "The initiatives detailed in the partnership agreement will help to build a resilient economy and community on King Island for the future. King Island Mayor, Greg Barratt, said that the community was actively involved in identifying the issues that are addressed in the partnership agreement. "The community put a range of issues on the table for inclusion in the partnership agreement, and I thank them for their ideas and for getting on with looking towards a positive future," Cr Barratt said. "The partnership agreement represents an achievable and meaningful medium- to long-term approach to re-building the King Island economy following the closure of the JBS Australia abattoir at Currie." State and local government are in discussions about joint funding for the project of $1.39 million over three years. The State Government is also exploring the opportunity for King Island to access relevant Commonwealth programs. Mr Green said the Government had acted quickly to provide certainty to the community following the closure of the abattoir. "King Island is a fantastic place with a wealth of natural advantages, including clean air, fertile soil and brand recognition that is second to none," Mr Green said. "It is also home to a resilient and passionate community which is confronting challenges head on. "I am confident that this partnership agreement will provide a blueprint for a prosperous future for King Island."