Tasmania would gain about 18,000 jobs if the Australian Greens' economic recovery plan was implemented, the party estimates.
The Invest to Recover plan launched on Monday targeted creating 870,000 jobs Australia-wide as a response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus-driven downturn.
Tasmania alone lost an estimated 20,800 jobs between mid-March and mid-April, going by Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, with fear jobs losses in the state could hit 35,000.
Measures in the Greens' plan included:
- $60 billion in new government support for manufacturing, including increasing processing, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals jobs;
- guaranteeing under 30s free university or TAFE places, an apprenticeship or traineeship or infrastructure, environmental or care jobs;
- $59 billion to grow renewable energy to the point it met all of Australia's demand;
- 500,000 new public housing and community homes;
- saving the arts and creative sectors hit by the economic crash and;
- expanding TAFE, universities, aged care and the public service.
Greens Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson saw big opportunities in the plan for Tasmanian manufacturing.
"We have an exciting opportunity to revive a Tasmanian manufacturing industry that we can be proud of, one that sees us meet the economic and environmental challenges we face and that protects workers," Senator Whish-Wilson said.
"We've got the know-how and the basic manufacturing facilities to make components for respirators and even medical testing kits, for example, not just for coronavirus.
"We have the right people here in Tasmania with valuable skillsets who want to do this kind of work and they could get this up and running tomorrow.
"They just need the backing."
He said UTAS could be involved in the research and development side and a manufacturing revival would help Australia own supply chains.
Senator Whish-Wilson said the plan could also help keep young Tasmanians living and working in the state.
"We have already been losing far too many young people to the mainland, and my fear is that with the coronavirus we're only going to lose far too many more," he said.
"Our economic recovery plan creates opportunities for young people to stay in Tasmania, whether for work or for study, as it is young people who are worst hit by this crisis."