Tasmanian salmon industry, forestry on the up: Budget

Tasmania's salmon industry could be on track to double its production and forestry is recovering, state Treasury believes.

"Tasmania's aquaculture industry is ... set for further growth, with several major new projects under consideration which could potentially double the state's salmon output over the next 12 years," the state budget papers said.

Treasury's comments were despite salmon stocking cutbacks in Macquarie Harbour due to environmental issues and opposition to various potential aquaculture projects around the state.

"Tasmania's forestry-related industries are also experiencing a recovery, with improved prices, increased exports and the development of new processing plants, including the recently announced Hermal plantation mill and production facility in the state's North-West," Treasury said.

TASMANIAN BUDGET

Treasury said the economy performed well in the past year.

It said a return to growth in business investment and continued growth in visitor numbers had been key drivers of the economy.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said Tasmanians were the most confident people in the nation.

" ... the conversations we now have are about what the opportunities are, rather than the lack of them," he said.

" ... we now have the second strongest growing economy in the nation.

"Importantly, this result has largely been driven by increased household consumption and private investment."

Treasury noted jobs weakness in the North-West and West despite strong growth in the South and North.

It said the regions had higher proportions of workers than Hobart in non-service industries, such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

It said they were more exposed to competition from international (often lower cost) producers and changes in commodity prices and exchange rates.

Treasury expected the state to add about 2300 jobs between now and June 2019,  and said jobs growth of 9300 in the next four years would be consistent with long-term trends in the later years.

It said population growth was at its highest level since late 2010, with accelerating net migration from the mainland and overseas.

It noted the strength of the housing market had led to concerns about the availability of rental accommodation and housing affordability, especially in Greater Hobart.

Treasury said the market had started to respond through big increases in dwelling approvals and housing starts, while government measures  were being implemented.

It said external conditions looked favourable, with the world economy getting stronger and Asian demand remaining strong.

"The prospects for the Australian economy are also more positive and domestic demand within Tasmania is also buoyant," it said.

Global risks included uncertainty over future Chinese growth and increased levels of protectionism with potential to damage Tasmanian industries.

This story Good outlook for fish, forestry first appeared on The Advocate.