Growing the economy is the best way to create jobs and help Tasmania recover from the coronavirus crisis, Premier Gutwein says.
"We know the best way to grow business confidence and create jobs is to grow the economy, and that is what we are doing," Mr Gutwein said.
He was speaking after the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the North-West and West Coast had lost 3700 jobs between February and May, Launceston and the North-East lost 4300, Greater Hobart lost 11,700 and the South-East 1000.
We have as a state responded strongly and, while we have focused on saving lives, we are also focused on rebuilding lives.Peter Gutwein
"With the necessary restrictions put in place to protect Tasmanians and save lives, we would expect ABS regional data to show impacts," Mr Gutwein said.
"We have as a state responded strongly and, while we have focused on saving lives, we are also focused on rebuilding lives.
"That is why we are rebooting the economy with a record construction blitz over two years, underpinning around 15,000 jobs in all three regions."
As well as regional projects, Mr Gutwein listed statewide initiatives including:
- police house upgrades ($2.7 million);
- about $3 million for regional and rural health facilities;
- 220 social houses brought forward over the next two years;
- 1000 new social dwellings;
- improved HomeShare eligibility to help low-income Tasmanians buy their own home; and
- expansion of the $20,000 first home owner grant to all owner-occupier new builds.
"In contrast, it has taken Labor four months to prepare a glossy brochure with a grab-bag of uncosted projects and thought bubbles," he said.
"During that time, the government has delivered three economic and social stimulus packages, totalling more than $1 billion.
"If Labor had been paying attention, they'd know half of their recovery shopping list of projects are already funded and proceeding - the only reliable numbers in it are the page numbers."
Shadow Treasurer David O'Byrne said the "tragic job losses" reinforced Labor's call "to extend the JobKeeper program beyond the federal government's drop dead date of September".
"We need to do all we can to support people who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut and who are suffering ongoing hardship due to the pandemic," Mr O'Byrne said.
"And we need to make sure no region and no sector is left behind.
"Labor's COVID-19 Recovery Package is designed to get Tasmanians back into jobs, help those hardest hit by the pandemic and create a better, fairer and more resilient economy and society.
"I urge the Premier to urgently consider the many ideas contained in Labor's recovery package to create jobs right across Tasmania."