Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing
It’s exciting to bear witness to the many and substantial infrastructure, housing, construction and transport projects and services being delivered that the Tasmanian Liberal Government has helped to enable.
Economic indicators show that Tasmania is on a growth curve and the trend is our friend as we look towards 2022.
Tasmania’s economy grew 3.8 per cent in 2020-21 – the second fastest rate in the country, more than double the national rate and nearly double that estimated in last year’s budget.
The Tasmania Liberal Government is building the infrastructure our State needs and which enables this economic growth. Our record investment into roads, rail and bridges last year was two and half times that spent in the last year of the disastrous former Labor-Green Government.
The improvements to safety and amenity on the Midland Highway are now more than two-thirds complete, on time and on budget, with more projects set to begin around Oatlands, Ross and Campbell Town soon.
The growth in population and economic activity around Sorell and the Southern Beaches is also being supported by the joint Australian and Tasmanian Government $350 million investment in the South-East Traffic Solution. One of the biggest seen in that region.
On the Bass Highway the first projects have started under our $280 million joint Australian and Tasmanian Government investments.
We’re also modernising our public transport services and fleet with the new, and very popular, Derwent River ferry service already being extended with extra services and an extra ferry this summer.
This year saw the delivery of the 100th locally-built BusTech bus to Metro, meaning we now have one of the youngest fleets in the country, while improvements to the bus networks across the State have resulted in faster, more direct, and more frequent services.
We’ve seen the launch of the second new Bruny Island ferry, the Parrabah; the introduction of quarterly vehicle registration payments; and reforms to the taxi and ride-share industries to create an even playing field for all on-demand transport operators.
We have a comprehensive approach to increasing housing supply, which is the only way to combat rising house prices and put downward pressure on home prices and rentals. Since the commencement of the Affordable Housing Strategy, there have been 1,143 new long-term homes built, including 279 in the past year. In the past 12 months we have released 356 new lots of land, and have made 69 units of homeless accommodation available.
Right now there are 514 new homes under construction and 115 units of new public housing due for completion next month.
Our plan to deliver extra housing is working, with 144 ancillary dwellings approved under our incentive program and our Residential Land Rebate program is already unlocking 458 lots of new residential land, with more to come.
We have been working hard creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation with the ICT sector. We are building a digital Service Tasmania portal for a centralised access to Government Services anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
And across the State-owned Companies in my portfolios, the investment pipeline is large and growing, including the $64 million shiploader at the Port of Burnie and the $240 million Devonport East Redevelopment.
Our Government is getting on with the job – we’ve delivered in 2021, and we’ll keep delivering for Tasmania in 2022.