Federal Budget provides boost for Tasmania

May 13 2014

The Tasmanian Liberal team were tonight pleased to announce a host of incentives and benefits for Tasmania in the Federal Budget.

The Australian Government is investing $1 billion in Tasmania to fund major projects state-wide with a focus on economic growth and jobs.

The Midland Highway is a major infrastructure initiative with $400 million announced tonight in the Federal Budget to upgrade to improve the safety and efficiency and accommodate the forecast increase in freight and passenger movements.

The Abbott Government is honouring its commitment to lengthen the runway of Hobart International Airport. The $38 million upgrade will see the runway extended by up to 500 metres. It will allow Hobart Airport to become Australia's gateway to the Antarctic.

The Government has also approved the process to procure a new icebreaker to replace the ageing Aurora Australis. This new icebreaker will be based in Hobart. This will boost jobs and growth in Tasmania.

A modern, sophisticated icebreaker will provide critical support for Australia's Antarctic research stations and expand Tasmania's role as the gateway to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. The new ship will have an enhanced icebreaking capability, greater cargo capacity, be able to undertake critical marine science within the sea ice zone, operate more efficiently and effectively and also act in a supporting role for other Government agencies if the need arises.

Another initiative announced today is the Restart programme, which provides up to $10,000 in Federal Government assistance and will be available to individual employers who take on job seekers aged 50 or more.

Restart will be available to all employers in conjunction with the Tasmanian Jobs Programme, which already provides a payment of up to $3,250 for businesses that employ job seekers (who have been out of work for at least six months and are at risk of long-term unemployment) in full-time positions for at least six months.

Other benefits for Tasmania include:

- $2.7 million to establish the Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency for Launceston that will speed up regulatory approvals and encourage private investment in the Tasmanian economy.

- Funding for the Tasmanian agriculture sector including $100 million for research and development and $15 million to help small exporters with export costs.

- $5.2 million for improvement of the Bell Bay Intermodal Terminal.

- Funding for the veterans' community including funding to support the work of veterans' advocates, pension and welfare officers, in helping veterans to access important information and services.

- $20 million to build a stronger biosecurity and quarantine system and $8 million to improve access to agricultural and veterinary chemicals - measures that will benefit Tasmanian farmers and producers.

- Funding to upgrade the iconic Cadbury factory. The upgrade is aimed at boosting tourism by create a unique visitor tour offering a chocolate manufacturing experience (suspended in 2008), and restoring the famous tourist attraction. This upgrade was announced prior to the Election. Work on the factory will create 200 new direct jobs and 120 indirect jobs by 2017, and helping to secure 600 existing direct jobs and 340 existing indirect jobs.

- Funding for mobile phone black spots in Tasmania.

- Funding for the Burnie Pool redevelopment, Smithton and Devonport Hockey Clubs, the Devonport Soccer Club, and the Cradle Coast Outrigger Club.

Tonight's Budget is part of the Abbott Government's Economic Action Strategy to repair the finances and build a strong and prosperous economy in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Liberal Team - Media Release
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