ANDREW NIKOLIC MP:
Can I just say how excited I am to have the Prime Minister of Australia in Launceston once again with Education Minister Simon Birmingham, with the Premier of Tasmania, with our hardworking Tasmanian Liberal team.
The Prime Minister and our colleagues have been out there every day for the last seven weeks talking about our jobs and growth plan for Australia. Six important strategic aspects and today what you’ve seen is the local dimension of those strategic aspects - things that will be long term strategic enablers of our future prosperity year on year. It is an exciting day Prime Minister for Northern Tasmania, the announcement you’ve made today my email has gone into overdrive - my SMS has gone into overdrive. It is the reward of incredible hard work with the magnificent seven. The four senators and the three amigos who have hunted as a pack and worked hard all these years to deliver for our community and we want to keep doing that.
Please join me in welcoming the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.
Well, there has never been a more exciting time to be a Tasmanian and we’ve got some very excited Tasmanians here.
Can I say how delighted I am to be here with my Tasmanian colleagues and of course the Premier, whose leadership and vision and business-like approach to government is one of the big factors in restoring the confidence and optimism in this state. You’ve seen great examples of innovation, export-led businesses – some of them here today - and what that means is that our economic plan is working. It is working already in Tasmania and our commitment to it is unequivocal.
So it’s a very clear choice in this election, absolutely clear cut. On the one hand you have the very stable Coalition Government I lead with a very clear national economic plan, which is already delivering jobs and growth here in Tasmania and around the country.
Or on the other hand, we have the chaos – no economic vision – the chaos of a Labor-Greens-independent alliance. That’s the alternative. It is very very clear cut.
We are for business, we are supporting business. You know, here in Northern Tasmania, more than 10 per cent of all the employees in the private sector work in companies with a turnover between $2 million and $10 million a year. They will all get a tax cut on July 1 if we are re-elected but they won’t if the Labor Party is able to form a government with the Greens and the independents.
So that’s just one example of the way in which there is a clear difference between us and Labor in this election. This is a very, very clear choice – stability and economic growth and an economic plan versus chaos on the other hand.
The only way to ensure we have that stability and economic growth is to vote for Liberal candidates at the election - Liberal and National candidates at the election across Australia. That is the only way. Voting for your local candidate – Liberal candidate – is the only way to ensure that we will have that continued growth.
Now here I’m delighted to announce that we are committing $150 million to support the University of Tasmania’s plans to bring its campus’ into the heart of Launceston and Burnie. This is a fantastic initiative. I had a good talk about it with the vice chancellor this morning and of course with my Tasmanian colleagues. You can see with the Mayor’s vision – Albert what you’ve done with your vision for Launceston is really outstanding and it ties into a very key policy priority of mine, of the Government’s but a particular policy priority of mine and a big change for federal governments. I believe that we need to take a different approach to cities as a federal [inaudible] with you Albert and with Will, the state government and what that will mean is just as we have done and will do in Townsville and in Western Sydney, you will see local government, state government and federal government and all of their agencies working together.
We all know that government is big, local government is big, state governments big, federal governments even bigger and all too often they do not coordinate their investments. They don’t talk to each other. There’s a lot of ad hoc decision making. What we need to do is coordinate that better so that we agree on what the vision is, what the plan is for a city or for a region and then we make sure that all of us are pulling in the same direction, all of us are investing with the same ends in sight and I must say I want to again compliment Albert and the Launceston Council for the way in which they have set up an outstanding plan for their city here and as I said to the Mayor a moment ago, I’m delighted also to announce that we’re committing $7.5 million to support the Heart of the City project here in Launceston. This will be a real exemplar in the revitalisation of city centres and a real example of what can be done with strong leadership in regional cities across Australia.
So, as you know, we have a big regional plan. Richard Colbeck announced that yesterday, $25 million across Tasmania and as you know we’ve also committed $1 million to the business plan for the Cradle Mountain development and we look forward to that coming forward once it is in an investable case, investible structure. And I should add, finally, before I ask the Premier to speak after me, can I say that the second interconnector is absolutely critical in Tasmania. It is just not acceptable for Tasmania to have no redundancy in its connections, in its energy connections with the mainland. Now Warwick Smith has done a great job in doing a preliminary piece of work. We’re going to take that onto a full feasibility. We have a lot of money from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to back investments in infrastructure that supports renewable and clean energy and Tasmania is better situated than just about anywhere in Australia, obviously to provide renewable energy between hydro and wind. It’s extraordinarily well situated and a second interconnector, I believe will attract a lot of investment. I believe that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will back it. I believe you’ll see the private sector behind it. We will put that together and we will drive that and it too will not only provide energy security for Tasmania but it will drive more investment in renewable energy in this state. More jobs, more investment. That is the key.
Again, I will conclude where I began. It is a very clear choice. We are a week away from the eve of the election. It’s a very clear choice. My Government, my team, stable Coalition Government with a clear national economic plan based on investment, open markets, backing in business. We are committed right through our plan to delivering stronger growth and more jobs and it is working. It is working already. We will be asking Australians for three more years to complete that plan.
On the other hand we have a chaotic alternative – Labor, Greens, and independents. Who knows what would emerge from that? But the one thing that won’t emerge is the economic plan that we need.
These are times of great opportunity, enormous opportunity and times of great challenge. There are many things, headwinds in the global economy over which we have no control but if we have a clear plan, if we have strong leadership, if we are building resilience of the Australian economy then we can seize the opportunities and meet the challenges and do so with the confidence and optimism that our leadership will deliver for Australians, for Tasmanians, into the future. Thank you very much.
PREMIER OF TASMANIA:
Prime Minister a very, very warm welcome here to Tasmania. You appear in very good health too which Tassie will do that to you. It’s wonderful to have you back here and to be with my Tasmanian Liberal colleagues and Minister Birmingham as well to be part of what is a very exciting day with respects to Tasmania’s education future and innovation future. To acknowledge the Federal Government’s support and commitment to investing collaboratively and strategically in ways that we can continue the growth in our economy and boost business confidence. A shout out to some of Tasmania’s best business operators here in the room today as well. You’re a fine indication of the enterprise and innovation that is occurring here in our state and that we as governments want to see continue.
I am delighted to be part of a Government that is partnering very well with the Federal Government and today is another demonstration of the collaboration, the strategic partnership, that’s designed to deliver strong results. Yes we are governments that will adopt good process. We will analyse our policy decisions and we will make our decision strategically and wisely on behalf of Tasmanian taxpayers.
We announced our support for the expansion of the UTAS campuses into Launceston and Burnie in previous budgets but today’s announcement will catapult, will no doubt transform both cities in a way that sits perfectly alongside what is one of our Government’s key priorities and that is to lift Tasmania’s educational outcomes. Can I just conclude by saying as well that it was not too long ago that Tasmania was governed by a minority government. Tasmanians will remember the uncertainty, the lack of confidence. Back then the unemployment rate was rising, we were in a recession in terms of our economic output business confidence was very low. Now business confidence in Tasmania ranks the highest in country. Our economy is growing at its fastest rate in six years and our unemployment rate is down. It is our job to keep it that way and my commitment to the Tasmanian people is that we will continue to work very closely with our counterparts to make sure that happens. Tasmanians will well remember what it was like under a minority government here in Tasmania just over two years ago. We certainly don’t want to see that replicated next week.
Prime Minister great to have you back. Thank you to my federal colleagues as well for their support. We look forward to maintaining the very strong and positive growth in Tasmania.