The Tasmanian Government’s number one priority is 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 generate jobs.
The Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council (PESRAC) Interim Report identified 64 key recommendations to help in our economic and social recovery, and I am pleased to confirm today the Government has accepted all of these recommendations.
Importantly, six recommendations have already been implemented, including further support to Tasmanian businesses, encouraging government agencies to purchase from Tasmanian businesses, and a further strengthening of our Buy Local Policy to support Tasmanian businesses.
A further 28 recommendations are currently being progressed, such as providing further support to Tasmanian businesses by allocating an additional $20 million as part of the Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Grant program.
The remaining 30 recommendations proposed by PESRAC will also be supported by government and be implemented as soon as possible.
Many of the recommendations can be managed from within existing agency resources or have already been funded through the provision of additional resources, and any that require additional funding will be reflected in the 2020-21 Budget.
These recommendations will complement what we’ve already done to help Tasmania recover and rebuild from the pandemic, including the largest economic and social rescue package in the country, proportionate to Gross State Product.
We are already seeing positive results, with Today’s Sensis Business Index report showing Tasmanian businesses are the most confident about our economy in the country, and recent ABS job numbers showing that 13,400 Tasmanians are now back in work in seasonally adjusted terms, since May, the height of the pandemic.
The most recent CommSec report also had Tasmania as the strongest economy in the country, and the financial update provided last week showed better outcomes than had previously been predicted.
While we have a long way to go to recover and rebuild a stronger Tasmania, these positive results demonstrate that we should be cautiously optimistic as we continue to manage the pandemic.
PESRAC is now in Phase Two of the consultation process and I encourage everyone interested to look at the PESRAC website and make a submission to the Council on how Tasmania can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would like to thank the members of the Council who have used their experience, knowledge and expertise in compiling the Interim Report and I look forward to receiving their final report in the New Year.