New data shows spike in Tasmanian investment

MOVING FORWARD: Baker Group's Nigel Baker, mayor Albert van Zetten and Treasurer Peter Gutwein in the Brisbane Street Mall. Picture: Scott Gelston
MOVING FORWARD: Baker Group's Nigel Baker, mayor Albert van Zetten and Treasurer Peter Gutwein in the Brisbane Street Mall. Picture: Scott Gelston

New data showing a spike in Tasmanian investment for the quarter reflects above average confidence businesses have in the state in comparison to the mainland, according to a leading economist.

The latest Deloitte Access Economics Investment Monitor shows investment in Tasmania has grown 32 per cent for the quarter and is up 44 per cent compared with June 2017.

Economist Saul Eslake said it was undoubtedly good news for the state government. 

“It is a tangible expression of the above average [relative to the mainland] levels of confidence that businesses in Tasmania have displayed since the 2014 election," he said.

“The fact that the population and the broader economy are both recording their strongest growth rates in more than six or seven years is also helping.”

The report notes details there are $1.8 billion worth of commercial projects under construction in Tasmania and a further $2.8 billion in the planning stages. 

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said a “strong investment pipeline” would ensure the growth was sustainable.

“There was a record infrastructure spend in this year’s state budget, but the pipeline we released in the weeks following the budget demonstrates strong investment across the next 10 years,” he said.

“New hotels coming out of the ground and the university project are part of an explosion of activity that is happening in places like Launceston.

“The government’s partnership with TasWater will also bring further investment.”

Mr Eslake said he expected to the growth to last for “a few more years”.

“I think the government is right that its commitment to a ten-year ‘pipeline’ of infrastructure projects [which is of course yet to be fully fleshed out] will induce a greater willingness on the part of the private sector to commit to longer-term investments,” he said.

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