Northern Tasmanian Development Corporation (NTDC) has been charged by its seven Council Members in the region to achieve economic growth targets for the next decade of: 50% Gross Regional Product, 8000 net jobs; and $100/week increase in average take home pay. NTDC and its Council Members acknowledge that economic growth underpins regional prosperity, assists in driving quality job opportunities, and makes a place more attractive to live.
Under the City Deal, NTDC has been given the role of developing a Regional Economic Development Plan (REDP) by the end of 2018 to ensure the whole region benefits from the City Deal agreement.
Maree Tetlow, CEO of NTDC stated that “We have commissioned the National Institute for Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) to deliver a background report to provide context and to identify regional strengths that can be built upon to achieve these targets.”
“One startling finding is that official population projections show that if nothing changes, Northern Tasmania’s working age population will drop by 3,700 over 10 years, whilst the total population will increase by over 5000. Our ageing population is the reason for this worrying trend.”
“The background report indicates these targets can be achieved if we focus on attracting at least 6,000 skilled workers or entrepreneurs of working age over the 10 year period” she said.
NTDC is in discussion with Council Members, the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, and other stakeholders, to establish a Population Taskforce which will focus on what will be required to deliver the working age population we will need.
Acting Chair of NTDC, Prof Sue Kilpatrick said “Our region must produce, retain and attract more people who have the education and skills we need for our industries of the future.”
“The trends identified in the report suggest these sectors will include agriculture and food processing, tourism and competitive manufacturing.”
“Health services will be another large employer” Prof Kilpatrick said. “We have a digital advantage with Australia’s first gigabit NBN city that should an attraction to entrepreneurs and drive the kinds of new economy jobs that will improve the productivity of our traditional industries.”
The taskforce is expected to consider what will be required to attract new businesses, support current businesses to expand, and the future jobs and skills that will be required, as well as investment in public infrastructure to support any population growth.
A focus on place making would cater to a growing population and ensure the region can attract and retain talented and skilled workers.
NTDC looks forward to supporting the Launceston Chamber of Commerce’s planned forums where the future of Launceston will be discussed as part of the REDP consultation process. The REDP will be a blueprint for action that is agreed and supported by all key players in northern Tasmania.
NTDC is an initiative of seven Northern Tasmanian Councils to achieve regional and economic targets in northern Tasmania by 2026.