Tasmanian regional economic development bodies have called on the federal government to co-invest in a grants program to increase new jobs.
The proposal would see the federal government match dollar for dollar expansion plans from private enterprises that could show new employment outcomes.
The joint call comes from Regional Development Australia – Tasmania, Cradle Coast Authority, Northern Tasmania Development Corporation and the Southern Tasmanian Council Authority.
RDA Tasmania chief executive Craig Perkins said the rationale of the program was to support the economic rebuild and investment in Tasmania by providing sustainable employment opportunities, particularly for people and sectors who have had employment negatively affected by COVID-19.
“These grants will enable businesses to build scale and capability to be competitive in new or growing markets that create sustainable employment,” Mr Perkins said.
The minimum grant application would be $50,000 capped at $1 million.
CCA chief executive Daryl Connelly said enterprises that can show their plans would create new jobs would be eligible to have their contribution met dollar for dollar.
“As well as creating new jobs in regions, the expected outcome of the proposed grant program would be increasing workers’ skills and knowledge, enabling local businesses to reach new customers, locally, nationally and overseas and boosting the competitiveness, productivity and profitability of regional businesses,” Mr Connelly said.
Southern Tasmanian Council Authority Bec Enders said the proposed grants matched many of the recommendations from the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council.
“PESRAC has recommended the state government take an active approach to engaging with the private sector to facilitate major projects and while this proposed grants program would be federally funded, it would assist with such an aim,” Councillor Enders said.
NTDC chief executive Mark Baker said strict criteria would govern access and oversight of the proposed grants.
“Applicants would need to show their capacity to complete the projects and what the return on investment would be, as well as how it would match local strategies and deliver an economic benefit to the region,” Mr Baker said.
For more comment, please contact:
Mark Baker (NTDC): 0409 356 183
Craig Perkins (RDA): 0409 395 195
Daryl Connelly (CCA): 0488 333 893
Bec Enders (STCA): 0498 213 515