Tasmanian Government Working to Secure Jobs Thu 12 July 2012 David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development The Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, today said the State Government is committed to diversifying Tasmania's economy, supporting jobs and creating new job opportunities. New ABS figures out today show the unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 7.3 per cent in trend terms, for the past three months. "There are signs that the unemployment rate has now stabilised. The challenge now is to rebuild confidence and create new jobs in the economy," Mr O'Byrne said. "The State Government is rising to meet that challenge, by helping to diversify our economy and find new emerging markets through the Economic Development Plan. "In the past few months, we have also worked to secure nearly 1000 direct jobs at Pacific Aluminium and TEMCO at Bell Bay. "We have $758 million of construction investment in the pipeline, which is the second largest figure on record," he said. Major projects either underway or soon to begin include: - The $400 million Musselroe wind farm; - The Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies; - Dairy investment including a new milk processing plant at Smithton, the $140 million redevelopment of National Foods' cheese factory in Burnie and a major dairy expansion planned by the Van Diemen's Land Company; - The Menzies Research Institute; - The Myer Redevelopment; - The $35 million renovation of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; - The transformation of Macquarie Wharf 2 into an Antarctic research and cruise ship terminal; - $50 million to remediate the Macquarie Point rail yards to prepare the massive site for commercial development; - The accompanying construction of a new Brooke St Pier ferry terminal; - Confirmation that Bunnings plans to build a second store in Launceston. "Many of these job-creating projects would not have been possible without work like the State Government's investment in irrigation, and initiatives under the Economic Development Plan," Mr O'Byrne said. "There is every reason to be optimistic about Tasmania's future. We won't be held back by the blatant and relentless negativity of Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein," he said. Mr O'Byrne said the Liberal Opposition should take heed of Professor Richard Herr who today described negativity as a 'virus.' "Those people spreading negativity, those talking down the economy, actually are contributing tho that sense of disempowerment, that sense of lack of direction and actually making it harder for leadership to actually work," Professor Herr said. Mr O'Byrne said the Liberal Party is trying to destroy confidence because they think it'll help them win power. "This is the party that has shamelessly whipped up fear about the closure of Nyrstar based on no evidence whatsoever," Mr O'Byrne said. "The Liberals constantly cherry-pick data to suit their political ends while ignoring positives in the economy, including the announcement of job-creating projects like the $70 million Proto Resources mine at Beaconsfield. "They have shown that they have absolutely no ability to present a balanced view of the Tasmanian economy," he said.