Over 12 months on since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores, we are securing Tasmania’s future thanks to the decisive action we took to protect our community and the incredible efforts of all Tasmanians.
We are now emerging from the crisis with optimism, with a strong economy and business confidence leading the nation, and a clear focus on securing Tasmania’s future.
Our clear plan to secure Tasmania’s future is working to rebuild the economy and to create jobs, and to ensure we have the essential services that all Tasmanians need.
The figures speak for themselves, with employment back up to pre-pandemic levels at 261,200.
Jobs were up by 1.5 per cent in February, the largest monthly growth rate in the country.
Unemployment is down – we now have the second lowest unemployment rate of the states at 5.7 per cent.
The participation rate is back up to pre-pandemic levels. The youth unemployment rate is down to the third lowest of any State.
Job vacancies are up 52 per cent over the year – the highest in the nation.
Businesses are confident, and because they are confident, they are investing and hiring, with business investment in the December quarter growing by 8.2 per cent in the quarter, and 7.4 per cent higher than the year before.
This has flowed through to our economy, with retail trade in January 9.3 per cent higher than last year, before the pandemic, and in the year to January, our merchandise exports were higher than the previous year, bucking the national trend.
And, in January, building approvals were up by 40.3 per cent compared to January last year, and the number of construction loans in January was up – nearly triple the number 12 months earlier before the pandemic, and higher than the national growth over the same period.
Building approvals were 3,538 in the 12 months to January 2021, 14.1 per cent more than the previous year.
It all confirms our plan is working, and our landmark $5 billion infrastructure program will continue this momentum, underpinning 25,000 jobs and securing Tasmania’s future.
But we know that we need to do more and that’s why I have accepted all 52 PESRAC recommendations that will help support Tasmania’s recovery from COVID-19.
Our clear plan will deliver the essential services Tasmanians need in health, mental health, education, to increase housing supply, put downward pressure on rents, and will support even more Tasmanians to own their home.
The contrast with Labor couldn’t be greater, with the Opposition having no clear plan for Tasmania’s future.
And with the indecisive Opposition Leader Rebecca White constantly changing her mind on the key issues facing Tasmania, no one has any real idea what Labor actually stands for.
We won’t be distracted by Labor’s inconsistency and negativity, we will continue implementing our clear plan to secure our State’s future, for all Tasmanians.