Significant support for jobs, tourism, the creative and cultural industries and housing on the West Coast will be delivered in addition to major health funding under a Majority Labor Government.
Labor Leader Rebecca White today released a package of commitments for the West Coast that would be delivered by Labor to ensure the region realised its full potential after seven years of neglect by the Liberal Government.
Visiting the West Coast with Braddon MP Anita Dow, Ms White announced:
- $40 million for sealing the Western Explorer
- A $1.75 million Jobs Hub in Queenstown to help locals into jobs with a focus on readiness for work and additional support services such as career advice and social work
- $1 million to upgrade the Strahan Port Precinct
- A creative and cultural industry package, including $525,000 each year for four years for the Unconformity Festival and a commitment to underwrite $10,000 for insurance costs to provide certainty to event organisers
- $150,000 per year for the West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan
- $600,000 to complete the Horsetail Falls Walk and $600,000 to upgrade the Confluence Walk
- $250,000 each year for four years to tackle gorse weed
- An in-principle agreement with Council to undertake a housing stock assessment within the first year of government to tackle the housing shortage on the West Coast
- A commitment to the Next Iconic Walk project
- $100,000 to reinstate flights between Hobart and Strahan
Ms Dow said the West Coast would also benefit from Labor’s $4.6 million TAFE regional delivery fund so Tasmanians wanting to train for future careers had access regardless of where they live.
She said it was crucial government properly fund important tourist events like the Unconformity Festival and attractions such as walking trails which were critical for the region’s economy.
“Tourism and outdoor recreation are vital parts of the West Coast economy, however council has identified that several short and medium walks need additional funding to complete or improve safety,” Ms Dow said.
“That’s why Labor is committed to properly funding these walks to ensure they are the best they can be to attract tourists and keep them safe.
“In that regard, the West Coast Council has identified a significant weed problem in the region, with high levels of gorse and other weeds along state highways and on Crown Land which are a fire danger, particularly to Zeehan and are encroaching on World Heritage Areas.
“The Liberals have neglected the need for action on this issue.”
Ms Dow said the West Coast has a shortage of quality housing and a Labor Government would address this in the first year of government.
“The lack of quality housing means there is a reduced ability to attract and retain employees to key positions on the coast such as teachers.
“Again, the Liberals have neglected the need for jobs on the West Coast by failing to attract and retain staff by providing quality housing which is crucial to the economy.”
Rebecca White MP
Anita Dow MP
Labor Member for Braddon