Tasmania's unemployment rate has fallen to 5.8 percent and more than 6,000 jobs have been created since the election, but we know there's still a long way to go.
That's why job creation remains our number one priority.
As part of the upcoming budget, the Government will roll out the Tasmanian Economic Stimulus Scheme - following a highly successful pilot in the north and north west over the last six months.
Last year, we trialled an innovative program to partner with councils in the north and north west to bring forward much needed infrastructure projects and stimulate regional economies and create jobs.
Councils in the north and north west nominated 45 projects worth more than $47 million to bring forward under that trial and as those projects are rolled out will they create jobs and deliver long-lasting infrastructure upgrades for the community.
Next week’s budget will make available up to $60 million that any of Tasmania’s 29 councils can apply for to bring forward infrastructure projects from road repairs to upgrading sports and community facilities.
The Government will provide the funding required upfront and interest free, with the council paying back the money over the next five years.
If the full $60 million is taken up, it is estimated that it would support up to 800 direct and indirect jobs right around the State. It will also help councils deliver projects that will improve public infrastructure which not only benefits local communities but also the growing number of visitors that are coming to the State.
We can afford to invest in projects like this because we have balanced the budget and got the State's finances under control.
The Scheme will be open to councils from 1 June and applications will close at the end of August.