Investment in key regional infrastructure projects will be an important plank of a tailored COVID recovery package for the North West and West of Tasmania.
Labor Member for Braddon Shane Broad said as the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council meets today for the first time, it must have a strong focus on the North West.
“The North West outbreak and associated extended lockdown period means the impacts of COVID-19 have been deeper and will be felt for longer than in other parts of the state.
“We know the North West region will be vulnerable in recovery because of our demographics, our high exposure to global markets and the lower level of economic growth in recent years, compared to other parts of the state.
“That’s why it will be important to supercharge investment in critical regional infrastructure, to stimulate the economy and rebuild confidence.
“Priorities must not be dictated by Treasury, they must be generated and guided by locals, for locals. The government needs to step in with funding.
“Many regional authorities have already done great work in this space, including the Cradle Coast Authority, local chambers of commerce and regional tourism leaders.
“Peter Gutwein and his Advisory Council must take a lead from those who know their local communities.”
Dr Broad said targeted investment in important regional infrastructure projects would provide local businesses with the confidence to re-open and re-employ local people.
“Many of the infrastructure projects already identified as important to the economic growth of the region would support sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, such as tourism.
“They include the Coastal Pathway, Cooee Crawl, Cradle Mountain redevelopment and progressing the Next Iconic Walk on the West Coast.
“As well as supporting the tourism sector as it considers how to emerge from the COVID crisis, investment in these projects will create jobs for locals.
“There are growing calls for a targeted recovery package for the North West region, and we call on Peter Gutwein to listen to a community that has been deeply affected by the social and economic impact of COVID-19 and act to support its recovery.”
Shane Broad MP
Labor Member for Braddon