Our Plan for

Tasmania

Key Points

Tasmania has become the nation’s turnaround state through the combined efforts of the Morrison and Hodgman governments. We are creating jobs, strengthening the health system and protecting the Tasmanian way of life.

Tasmania’s economy has grown strongly since 2013. When the Coalition was elected, the Tasmanian economy was weak after six years of federal Labor and a decade and a half of a state Labor-Greens alliance. Tasmania’s jobless rate was at 8.1 per cent, having peaked at 8.8 per cent. It is now down to around 6.7 per cent.

The stronger economy is attracting more people to the state, which will only further boost the economy. There are more people visiting than ever before, with a record 1.3 million visitors in the year ending June 2018.

A re-elected Morrison Government will build an even stronger Tasmanian economy, allowing us to guarantee and improve essential services. Major elements of our Plan include:

  • Boosting funding for Tasmanian healthcare, with a $91.9 million Tasmanian Health Plan that addresses health care needs and provides affordable and accessible healthcare for Tasmanians, and an additional $25.6 million for north and north-west Tasmania.
  • Creating jobs by investing in new infrastructure to grow the Tasmanian economy, bust congestion and improve safety, including an additional $313 million for transport infrastructure over the next decade, bringing our total investment to over $2.7 billion
  • Supporting Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation, including supporting the Marinus Link second interconnector and investing in skills
  • Tackling high youth unemployment in north-west Tasmania
  • Supporting Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche 3 as part of our efforts to grow Tasmania’s world-class primary industries, and establishing a forestry hub for north and north-western Tasmania
  • Supporting the Tasmanian Defence Innovation and Design Precinct in Launceston at the Australian Maritime College.\
  • Continuing to grow the tourism sector, with funding for Freycinet National Park
  • Delivering Tasmanian households the largest personal income tax relief since the Howard Government, with tax relief of up to $1,080 for single income families earning up to $126,000. For a dual income family that’s up to $2,160 back in families’ pockets in a few weeks’ time
  • Backing small and family businesses, with lower taxes and an increase in the instant asset tax write-off to $30,000 now expanded to medium-sized businesses
  • Delivering safer Tasmanian communities by maintaining strong borders, increasing funding for the Safer Communities Fund, and implementing comprehensive plans to address drugs, domestic violence and online safety
  • Implementing the City Deals for Launceston and Hobart
  • Cementing Tasmania as an Antarctic Gateway with $2.8 billion of investment.

Tasmania’s turnaround has been a major success, but these gains will unravel quickly with the wrong policies. Labor’s plan for $387 billion of new taxes on retirees, workers, investors and family businesses and a reckless 45 per cent emissions reduction target threatens to stop Tasmania’s growth trajectory in its tracks. Labor’s economic and budget mismanagement also means the services Tasmanians rely on, like health, education and aged care, would also be put at risk.

Our Record

There are more Tasmanians in jobs, fewer Tasmanians on welfare, and business confidence in Tasmania is high thanks to the strong partnership between the Morrison and Hodgman governments.

Around 17,000 jobs have been created in Tasmania since the Coalition was first elected in 2013.

To deliver an even stronger Tasmanian economy, we have committed over $2.7 billion in transport infrastructure, including:

  • $400 million toward the upgrade of the Midland Highway with almost $120 million for the Breadalbane to Perth and the Perth Link Road;
  • $400 million for the Tasmanian Roads Package including $60 million for the Bass Highway and $10 million for the Murchison Highway; and
  • $461 million for the Bridgewater Bridge replacement.

We have also strengthened digital and communications infrastructure, with the NBN now rolled out to over 99% of Tasmanians, and an investment in 47 mobile blackspot base stations.

We have expanded the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme, provided tax relief to hard-working Tasmanians, ensured Tasmania gets its fair share of GST, and provided a direct link between Tasmania and the world with the $38 million international runway at Hobart Airport.

Regional and rural Tasmania have also been supported with $60 million to expand the Tranche II irrigation projects, protecting market access with $20 million to tackle fruit fly, new free trade agreements opening up new market opportunities for Tasmanian produce, and a range of regional economic development projects like Devonport’s Living City project and upgrades to the NBN on the West Coast.

A stronger economy has allowed us to guarantee the services Tasmanians rely on and support the Tasmanian way of life. Our strong economic and budget management means we have been able to deliver:

  • Record funding for Tasmanian public hospitals, with funding having increased by 44.5 per cent from $294 million in 2012-13 under Labor to $425 million in 2019-20.
  • Cheaper medicines for Tasmanians, with more than 2,000 new medicine listings on the PBS since we were elected in 2013, including life-saving drugs for cancer.
  • More funding for Tasmanian schools, with a total of $6.5 billion from 2019 to 2029, equivalent to growth of 60.6 per cent per student.
  • Childcare reforms which have cut out-of-pocket costs for parents within the first six months, including by 10.7 per cent in Hobart.
  • Major commitment to aged care including $21.6 billion for aged care in 2019-20 across Australia, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2013‑14, including funding for an additional 10,000 home care packages, and a Royal Commission into the sector.

We have also prioritised creating a safer Tasmania, including investments under the Safer Communities Fund for CCTV cameras, security lighting, alarm systems for community spaces and other infrastructure. The Liberal National government has also maintained strong borders – we stopped the boats, stopped the deaths at sea, removed children from detention, and cancelled the visas of thousands of criminals across the country, including 15 in Tasmania.

Our Plan

Record funding for infrastructure

A strong Tasmanian economy with more jobs depends on ongoing investment in infrastructure to ease congestion in cities, unlock the potential regional centres, ensure Tasmanians get to their destinations quickly and safely, and help businesses efficiently transport goods and products.

In the 2019-20 Budget, the Morrison Government locked in a further $313 million investment over the next decade for land transport infrastructure in Tasmania, bringing our total investment to over $2.7 billion. New projects include:

  • An additional $68 million investment in the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation Program, bringing our total investment to over $187 million. This means greater efficiencies and lower prices for businesses that use freight rail. It is good news for Tasmanians as more freight on rail means fewer heavy vehicles on roads. That saves taxpayers in avoided road maintenance and means fewer road accidents.
  • $210 million for projects from the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, including:
  • $130 million for the Hobart to Sorrell Corridor
  • $80 million for a range of road upgrades, including Birralee Main Road, Murchison Highway, Old Surrey Road and Massey Green Drive, and Strahan Road
  • $35 million for projects from the Urban Congestion Fund, including:
    • $25 million for a Hobart congestion package
    • $10 million for Tasman Highway Intelligent Transport Solutions

The Morrison Government is also committing $100 million for Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche III, fully funded by the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

We will ensure Tasmania gets its fair share of our $2.2 billion Local and State Road Safety Package, which includes additional funding of $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery Program; $550 million for the Black Spots Program; $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program; and $275 million for bridges renewal funding.

This brings total commitments to these programs from 2013-14 to $13.1 billion.

Strengthening the Tasmanian health system

The Morrison Government’s Tasmanian Health Plan will protect lives, improve lives and save lives.

It builds on the 44.5 per cent increase in funding we have provided for Tasmanian public hospitals, a $730 million investment in the Mersey Community Hospital, record levels of bulk billing and more than 2,000 new medicines subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme including $1.4 billion for cancer medicines in the past year.

Funding for Tasmanian public hospitals will increase from $425 million to $525 million a year under a new hospitals agreement. We will also deliver a $91.9 million Tasmanian Health Plan to strengthen Tasmania’s health system, providing affordable and accessible health services for more Tasmanians, where and when they need them. The plan includes:

  • Reducing elective surgery wait times and improving hospital and health services and infrastructure, including upgrading the birthing suite at Launceston General Hospital ($35.1 million)
  • More frontline mental health services, including a new adult mental health centre in Launceston, a headspace centre in Devonport and a satellite service in Burnie, and a residential eating disorder clinic in Hobart ($24.4 million)
  • Helping Tasmanians in their fight against cancer with a second linear accelerator machine at the North West Centre at Burnie ($4.4 million)
  • A new bulk-billed MRI service at Devonport to give patients access to Medicare subsidised scans for cancer, as well as strokes and other conditions ($4.7 million)
  • Improving access to breast cancer diagnosis services with two additional diagnostic mammography units in Hobart and Launceston ($3 million)
  • Boosting new medical research, including in a University of Tasmania/ Menzies Institute Multiple Sclerosis flagship program, and preventative health research at University of Tasmania ($12.4million)
  • Improved alcohol and drug support, including a new 10 bed rehabilitation facility in the greater Burnie region and an eight bed service in Circular Head ($7.4 million)
  • Supporting the Tasmanian Primary Health Network to engage experts such as physiotherapists and personal trainers to run the innovative ‘Strength2Strength’ program in North West Tasmania ($500,000).

The Morrison Government will also make a further $25.6 million investment in improving healthcare in north and north-western Tasmania, including the following grants:

  • $10 million to redevelop and extend the existing Kings Meadows Community Health Centre into a contemporary community health centre to meet increased demand, including for renal and oral health.
  • $10 million for improvements to the Acute Care facility at North West Regional Hospital.
  • $1 million for the Queenstown Allied Health and Aged facility.
  • $4.5 million for a perinatal infant mental health service at Launceston General Hospital and North West Regional Hospital.
  • $100,000 for two mobile unit health buses supported by Rotary Tasmania and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Supporting Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation

The Coalition will support Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation plan with a $56 million investment to accelerate the delivery of the Marinus Link - a second interconnector with the mainland. The interconnector will deliver more affordable and reliable electricity for households and businesses and would have prevented the blackouts we saw in southern states this summer.

The Marinus Link will unlock new generation and storage in Tasmania, helping lower prices and increase reliability in the National Electricity Market. The Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation will create 3,800 direct and indirect jobs during construction and deliver a $7 billion economic stimulus, predominantly to north-western Tasmania. This investment is on top of our initial investment of $20 million to support the development of prefeasibility studies for the Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation.

To support the rollout of this package, the Government will also invest $17 million in an Energising Tasmania skills initiative. This will provide fee-free training in priority areas such as project management, civil construction, electro-technology and engineering skills to ensure Tasmania can train a workforce to build up its pumped hydro capabilities and support the energy infrastructure of the future.

Tackling high youth unemployment in north-west Tasmania

North-west Tasmania will benefit from the Morrison Government’s $525 million national skills package, including our $58 million investment in Industry Training Hubs and scholarships to skill young Australians for jobs of the future.

Burnie is one of ten locations of elevated youth unemployment across Australia that have been selected to host an Industry Training Hub, which will strengthen partnerships between local schools, employers and industries, and ensure that vocational education programs are tailored to meet local workforce needs and skills demands.

While Tasmania’s unemployment rate has fallen since 2013, youth unemployment in the Burnie region at 15.8 per cent remains well above the national average of 11.5 per cent.

Under the scholarship program, young people aged 15-24 in training hub areas will be eligible to apply for a scholarship to undertake an eligible VET Approved Program of Study. Across the nation, four hundred scholarships, valued at up to $17,500 each, will be made available from Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level.

Growing Tasmania’s world-class primary industries

Tasmania’s traditional sectors of agriculture, forestry and fisheries have always been a strong part of the state’s economy. These sectors have consistently delivered jobs and economic growth for the state, and our free trade deals are providing new opportunities to expand into overseas markets.

A re-elected Morrison Government will continue to support these traditional industries to grow even more jobs, with plans that will:

  • Increase Tasmania’s agricultural industry and exports through a $100 million investment in phase one of Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche 3, building on our commitment of $60 million for Tranche 2. This will be fully funded from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
  • Expand the offshore aquaculture industry with a $70 million investment in the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre.
  • Deliver a new forestry hub in northern and north-western Tasmania as part of our $12.5 million investment in nine hubs across the country.

The Morrison Government will open up even more markets for Tasmanian producers by implementing signed free trade agreements with Peru, Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as by concluding free trade agreements with the European Union, regional markets via the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the four nation Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia).

Tasmanian Defence Innovation and Design Precinct

A re‑elected Morrison Government will invest $30 million in phase one of the Tasmanian Defence Innovation and Design precinct at the University of Tasmania’s Australian Maritime College (AMC) in Launceston.

The new Precinct will help drive defence-related research and development and innovation projects, creating a world-class research precinct and highly-skilled jobs in Launceston. It is estimated the Precinct will ultimately result in over 150 additional jobs in the region each year, with up to 58 additional jobs in the region during the construction program.

The Precinct will help the Morrison Government deliver on its massive $200 billion investment in defence capability over the next decade and its $90 billion national Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

By supporting Phase 1 of the Research and Design Precinct, a re-elected Morrison Government will be supporting high value testing and evaluation needs for the Royal Australian Navy; increasing opportunities for greater collaboration between Defence, academia and industry to deliver cutting-edge defence capability; and build the AMC’s ability to support the National Shipbuilding College as it builds the workforce of the future to deliver on our national Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

Only the Coalition can be trusted to deliver on its Defence commitments. Labor’s record when it comes to Defence is one of over $18 billion in cuts and slashing the Defence budget to its lowest level since 1938 as a proportion of GDP.

Supporting tourism and jobs in Freycinet

The Liberal National Government has a strong track record of supporting Tasmania’s tourism industry, with visitor numbers at a record 1.3 million people.

Freycinet National Park is one of the fastest growing and most popular tourism destinations in Tasmania. Visitation to Freycinet and Coles Bay has increased at an average of 14 per cent per annum over the past five years.

As a ‘must see’ tourist attraction, Freycinet and Coles Bay continue to help drive tourism within the East Coast Tasmania region, where domestic and international tourists spent 1.6 million nights and $185 million in the year ending September 2018. While domestic visitor numbers to the area are strong, international visitors have more than doubled in the past five years.

The Morrison Government will commit $7.2 million to the Freycinet National park for tourism infrastructure upgrades as part of the Government’s $50 million National Tourism Icons Package:

  • $5.7 million towards a new visitor gateway, including a transit hub with new road access and car parking, shelter and information centre
  • $650,000 for an Aboriginal education program and Discovery Ranger Progra
  • $450,000 for a new Wineglass Bay lookout
  • $400,000 for a foreshore walkway

This builds on other investments we have made in Tasmanian tourism, including the $30 million investment in the Cradle Mountain Cableway, and $1.5 million for a major art installation in Tasmania’s south as part of MONA’s Dark Mofo festival.

Lower taxes for hard-working Tasmanians

The Morrison Government is lowering taxes for hard-working Australians as part of our plan to deliver a stronger economy and record job creation.

Our tax system must be fair for all Australians. Our Personal Income Tax Plan delivers lower taxes for Tasmanians, ensuring they keep more of what they earn. The enhanced plan will result in a better tax system, with greater reward for effort while ensuring top earners pay their fair share.

Around 210,000 lower and middle income earners in Tasmania will receive relief of up to $1,080 after they lodge their 2018-19 tax return. That’s up to $2,160 for dual income families. These benefits are then locked in for subsequent years.

In 2024-25, the Government will reduce the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 per cent, improving incentives for working Australians and increasing the reward for effort. As a result of this plan, around 94 per cent of Australian taxpayers are projected to face a marginal tax rate of 30 per cent or less in 2024-25.

The Government’s strong fiscal management means that it can deliver surpluses while also easing the cost of living pressure on hard-working Australians.

Supporting small and family businesses

Small and family businesses are at the centre of our economic plan for Australia. They are the engine room of our economy, with Tasmania’s 60,000 small and medium sized businesses employing around 146,000 Tasmanian workers.

A re-elected Morrison Government will implement a range of measures to reduce costs and make life easier for Tasmania’s small and family businesses.

We are reducing taxes on small businesses – the business tax rate has been reduced from 30 per cent to 27.5 per cent and will fall further to 25 per cent in 2021-22. Unincorporated Tasmanian small businesses will have access to the Government’s increase to the unincorporated tax discount.

As part of the 2019-20 Budget, we delivered an increase to the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000 until 30 June 2020. We are also expanding access to the instant asset write-off to include medium-sized businesses by increasing the annual turnover threshold from $10 million to $50 million. These changes provide a much needed boost to agricultural, manufacturing, tourism and other small and medium sized businesses in Tasmania.

Small and family businesses in Tasmania can trust the Morrison Government to support them with other announced measures, including streamlining red tape and simplifying tax reporting; increasing access to finance with the $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund; and ensuring they get paid on time by government and big business.

Safer and more secure Tasmanian communities

Safe communities are a key part of the Tasmanian way of life. Thanks to the strong commitment to safety and security of the federal and state Coalition governments, crime in Tasmania is falling, with total offences down by 5 per cent in 2017-18, including stolen motor vehicles down by 21 per cent, and sexual assaults down by 26 per cent.

We are committed to continue working with the Hodgman Government to support the safety and security of communities in Tasmania. A re-elected Coalition will deliver a comprehensive suite of actions to keep all Tasmanians safe. In addition to maintaining strong borders and continuing to cancel visas of people who commit crimes, Tasmania will benefit from our national plans to:

  • Deliver a comprehensive drug strategy to address the supply, demand and harm caused by illicit drugs with a five-year investment of $337 million. This includes $152 million to strengthen law enforcement efforts to disrupt and reduce the supply of illicit drugs including by targeting the threat posed by outlaw motorcycle gangs.
  • Support local councils and community organisations to undertake crime prevention activities as well as protect schools, religious institutions and other sites from religious and racial intolerance through CCTV cameras, security lighting, alarm systems and other infrastructure. This will be delivered through a further $58.2 million investment in the Safer Communities Fund.
  • Take action against domestic violence, with the largest ever Commonwealth investment of $328 million for prevention and frontline services to support the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children
  • Deliver a comprehensive plan to improve online safety, including funding a $10 million Online Safety Grants program to deliver practical online safety education and training projects, continue giving parents practical resources to protect their kids online through the e-safety Commissioner, and establishing an Online Safety Charter to set out expectations of social media companies.
Implementing the City Deals

The Coalition will work with the Hodgman Government to implement our transformative City Deals.

The existing City Deal for Launceston is a five year plan to make Launceston one of Australia’s most liveable and economically vibrant regional cities, with increasing incomes and decreasing levels of disadvantage. The City Deal delivers:

  • Relocation of the University of Tasmania main campus from Newnham to Inveresk near the city centre.
  • $95 million to improve the health of the Tamar Estuary.
  • $19.4 million to support Launceston’s City Heart project, which will rejuvenate the historic CBD.

Under our $1.43 billion City Deal for Hobart, we will tackle congestion bottlenecks, boosting tourism and making the airport a true international gateway, driving scientific investment and creating an extra 720 jobs. It includes:

$82.3 million for upgraded border services including immigration, customs and biosecurity at Hobart International Airport.

    Realising the full potential of Macquarie Point as a major scientific, tourism and cultural hub.

    $30 million to boost the supply of affordable community housing

    An extra $25 million for congestion busting projects on top of the existing $461 million investment in the Bridgewater Bridge replacement

Tasmania as an Antarctic Gateway

The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring Australia remains a leader in Antarctica and cementing Tasmania as the premier gateway and scientific research hub for East Antarctica. The Antarctic sector employs more than 830 people in Tasmania, and it is continuing to expand.

We will invest $450 million over the next 10 years to upgrade Australia’s Antarctic research station network and supporting infrastructure – effectively tripling the investment in Antarctic infrastructure to support our science.

This will bring our investment in Antarctica to a record level of over $2.8 billion including:

  • $1.9 billion towards a new icebreaker.
  • $210 million over 10 years for additional funding for our Antarctic operations.
  • $107 million over 11 years for Antarctic research initiatives.
  • $50 million for a new research station on Macquarie Island.
  • $45 million over 10 years for overland traverse capabilities.

The Choice

There is a lot at stake at this election. And there is a clear choice.

A choice between a Government that is delivering a strong economy or a Labor Party that would weaken our economy. A choice between a Government that is fixing the budget or a Labor Party that can’t manage money. A choice between a Government that is easing the pressure on families by lowering taxes or a Labor Party that will put more strain on households by imposing $387 billion in new taxes on workers, retirees and small business. A choice between a Government that can afford to pay for better infrastructure and services or a Labor Party that would max out Australia’s credit card. A choice between a Government that has secured our borders and is keeping Australians safe or a Labor Party that has learned nothing from its border security failures.

Tasmania cannot afford to go back to the bad days of Labor, when there were fewer jobs, less opportunities and choice, and more people on welfare. Labor can’t manage money and they can’t manage the economy. When Labor can’t manage money, they come after yours.

Labor’s plans will increase the pressure on Tasmanian households:

  • Labor’s retiree tax will punish Tasmanians who have worked hard and saved for retirement by abolishing tax refunds on share dividends. In Tasmania, this will affect around 20,500 individuals who have direct shareholdings and many more invested through self-managed super funds. On average individuals with direct holdings lose almost $2,300 a year and self-managed super funds lose $12,000 a year.
  • Labor’s housing and investment taxes will end negative gearing as we know it, and increase capital gains tax by 50%. If you own your own home it will be worth less and if you rent you will pay more.
  • Labor will deliver higher personal income tax by reversing the Government’s legislated income tax plan and the enhancements we announced in the 2019-20 budget. Our Plan will ensure 94% of taxpayers will pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar. It means Labor would leave over 126,000 Tasmanians worse off.
  • Labor’s Family Business Tax will impose a minimum tax rate of 30% on the 5,000 Tasmanian small businesses structured through discretionary trusts. This is the same rate imposed on large multinational companies.

On top of this, modelling by BAEconomic’s Managing Director, Dr Brian Fisher, shows Labor’s plans for a 45% emissions reduction target and 50% Renewable Energy Target will:

  • cost the economy $472 billion,
  • slash more than 336,000 jobs,
  • cut the average wage by over $9,000, and
  • increase wholesale electricity prices by 58%.

This is a cost that Tasmanian businesses and families can’t afford. The modelling forecasts that Labor’s plan would result in an up to 8.6 per cent contraction in Australia’s $3 billion fishing sector. In Tasmania, which accounts for nearly one-third of national output, that would represent a blow to state output of more than $80 million.

Labor also plans to return to their failed Tasmanian Forestry Agreement, which was a sham deal that committed to more forest lock ups and was going to destroy our forest products industries.

In contrast, the Coalition has a plan for lower taxes so that you can keep more of the money that you earn. We have a fully costed $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Plan that will ensure we meet and beat our international targets without wrecking the economy, and a comprehensive plan to bring down energy prices.

There will only be one outcome for Tasmania under Labor – a weaker economy, fewer jobs and higher taxes. If Labor can’t be trusted to run the economy and manage the budget, they can’t be trusted to invest in the services Tasmanians rely on, including health, education and aged care.

The Choice

Cost

The Coalition will invest an additional $25.6 million in healthcare for north and north-west Tasmania.