Buying Tasmanian made and supporting local business has never been more important as we look to recover and rebuild from coronavirus.
Tasmanian businesses are not only renowned for their quality, but also their ingenuity and diversification – and a fantastic example of that is Lark Distillery, which has successfully innovated from its core business to meet demand for sanitiser products.
As a result of COVID-19 we expect many other businesses to innovate and diversify into products that we currently import from interstate or overseas. It will be important that Government and other large purchasers where possible buy local and support the investment being made by local firms and the jobs that they will create here in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Government has already implemented a strong Buy Local policy which includes up to a 20% weighting of local content when making purchasing decisions, with an aim to ensure 90 per cent of all Government contracts are awarded to Tasmanian businesses by 2022.
We are well on track to achieve this with 86 per cent of Tasmanian businesses awarded Government contracts in the March 2020 quarter, but we want to set the bar higher, to keep putting Tasmanian businesses first.
Therefore under the challenging economic circumstances we face I have tasked Treasury to consider how we can increase our weighting even further towards Tasmanian content and also consider how the investment that is being made locally by firms, as they innovate to deliver products that in the main have been imported, can be recognised more fully in our Buy Local policy.
I expect that this review will be finalised in coming weeks so that we can ensure that Tasmanian businesses are considered first and foremost to lock in greater social and economic benefits right here in Tasmania.
The Government believes that buying Tasmanian made products and services where there is demonstrable benefit to our economy and also value for money for the taxpayer has never made more sense than right now and the Government will lead the way on this, backing jobs, aiding recovery and helping to rebuild our economy.
It is Tasmanian businesses who will help to rebuild Tasmania, and we need the policies and processes in place to support them to do it.