Michael Ferguson,Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing
The Tasmanian Liberal Government set about rebooting the economy with a record construction blitz over two years, designed to support the building and construction sector, which employs around 20,000 Tasmanians and the wider economy.
So it was great to visit just one of the hundreds of construction sites across the State where improvements are being made for communities and Tasmanians are in work.
Upgrades for the Life Without Barriers’ respite care centre in Rocherlea has been funded through the State Government’s $70 million Public Buildings Maintenance Fund.
Our $1 million investment in Life Without Barriers’ facility has resulted in real outcomes for people with disability, and is part of our $15 million commitment to investing in public buildings in the North of the state.
At the height of the pandemic last year we knew it was the Government’s role to step in to support our economy and drive our rebuild, which is exactly what we did. Our historic construction blitz was about bringing forward government expenditure, stimulating investment in the private sector, strengthening the economy and securing Tasmania’s future by creating thousands of jobs.
And one year on, we know our plan is working. The latest ABS figures show that our economy is stronger, and there are more jobs now, than before the pandemic. Our economic growth has been underpinned by increasing private investment and record building approvals, which reflect the strong investment into construction equipment and more houses, supported by our Construction Blitz and HomeBuilder Programs.
We have a historic and ambitious infrastructure program that is creating jobs and stimulating our economy. Industry has also told us that to deliver on this plan, its workforce will need to increase by around 25 per cent over the next four years.
Tasmania has a huge pipeline of both public and private sector infrastructure and construction projects over the coming years and this presents both a fantastic opportunity but also challenges in terms of having the skilled workforce available to get it done. That’s why the Tasmanian Government is partnering with industry to unleash a High Vis Army to help Tasmania build the infrastructure our state needs to secure our future.
The program of works is building next-generation infrastructure, improving the opportunity for more Tasmanians to become a home owner and provide more houses for more Tasmanians. It will get our economy back on track, fuel the supply chain across the State and create jobs.