On Tuesday Night, the Federal Government handed down its first Federal Budget. The Budget has been described as a sensible budget considering the current conditions. With the reserve bank increasing interest rates to combat inflation, and inflation the enemy of the economy, the Federal Treasurer had a tough task when implementing cost-of-living relief measures. The measures to be introduced will include cheaper child care and encouraging downsizing to free up housing stock.

In regard to infrastructure and priority projects, we’re thrilled with the news that Northern TRANSLink, an intermodal facility to be located near the Launceston Airport, will be funded. This facility will improve access to interstate and overseas markets for perishable goods and considering Launceston and northern Tasmania’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the demand for northern Tasmanian produce will be in hot demand. This is fantastic news for agribusinesses in the region. TRANSLink is a regional priority project identified by the Regional Collaborative Framework (RCF). The RCF was a concept born in the Chamber and brought to fruition by the Northern Tasmania Development Corporation.

Health funding announcements for northern Tasmania were pleasing with $4 million over four years committed to a Medical Research Centre at the Launceston General Hospital and $20 million over four years for the development of a new hospice to provide palliative care in the region.

On the negative side, we are concerned with the lack of funding for two of Launceston’s priority projects:

  • The TEMT vision for kanamaluka/Tamar Estuary will bring a triple-bottom-line benefit to the banks of the Tamar and will provide vital infrastructure for active transport users to travel from Kings Wharf to Riverside. 
  • City Heart Stage 2 will enhance the corridors that connect our three primary assembly areas (which were refurbished as part of City Heart Stage 1) and provide vital infrastructure for Launceston’s night-time economy. 

With the cancellation of the Building Better Regions program by the Federal Government, the future of these two key projects is unclear, but we look forward to working with all levels of government to ensure the delivery of these key projects for Launceston. 

Reference: Ruddicks Chartered Accountants advice article, available here. Ruddicks Chartered Accountants are a gold Chamber member.

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