New jobs top party's to-do list

A LIBERAL plan to create 5000 jobs during its first term would use a mix of increased spending and continued tax relief.

Opposition Leader Will Hodgman, at his campaign launch in Launceston yesterday, said a top priority if elected on March 15 was to reduce Tasmania's unemployment level to the national average.

He said almost 19,000 Tasmanians were unemployed, with the Tasmanian unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent being well above the national average of 5.9 per cent.

He said the jobs would be created through a four-prong plan to establish:

•A $12 million Regional Revival Fund to build infrastructure for major job- creating private sector projects.

To access money, proponents must show economic benefits for the state and financial capacity for projects.

•The existing payroll tax rebate would be continued for a year for the larger businesses that pay the tax.

•A small business bonus of up to $1000 would be paid for new jobs created for the year starting on July 1. To be eligible, positions must be retained for a year.

•A two-year headworks holiday would mean that developers would be exempt for two years from paying water and sewerage connection costs on new developments.

The initiatives are costed at $28 million over four years.

Mr Hodgman also said he looked forward to working constructively with the federal government, rather than "slinging mud at them".

"We want to give people the chance to stay in our state, rather than waving them away at the airport," he said.

"By working together as a state, we can get things moving in the right direction."

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