Joint media release with the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts the Hon Simon Crean MP
The Australian Government's Tasmanian Innovation and Investment Fund will generate almost $20 million of investment and create over 260 new jobs in the state.
The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, and the Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, today announced grants to 26 companies totalling $8.3 million from the Fund.
The grants will support investment in projects that will diversify Tasmania's economy, recognizing the impacts of the restructuring of the forestry sector.
"This Fund supports investment in new activities and industries to broaden Tasmania's economy," Minister Combet said.
"This investment will create sustainable new jobs across a broad range of industries and regions."
The grants support exciting projects including re-establishing the Bicheno abalone farm, purchasing new boats to expand tourism operations on Bruny Island and a new glasshouse complex near Wynyard.
Many of the grants will be used to invest in new equipment and infrastructure for Tasmanian companies in the manufacturing, construction, transport and food processing sectors.
"These projects will strengthen local economies now and in the future," Mr Combet said.
"The fact that the grants from the Fund will be more than matched by private investment shows that there is strong confidence in Tasmania's economic outlook."
Mr Crean said the grants were consistent with the economic diversification focus of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).
"This funding builds on recently announced projects, including more than $5.7 million to support the dairy industry in Smithton and $3.9 million to support the expansion of the salmon-farming industry in Huonville," Mr Crean said.
"We have also invested $3.6 million in the world-first SenseT data project, which was developed by the CSIRO, University of Tasmania and IBM to help Tasmanian farmers make informed decisions about irrigation, treatment and harvesting.
"These investments will deliver hundreds of jobs in the short term and ongoing job opportunities into the future.
"While a sustainable forestry products industry will remain at the core of Tasmania's economy - it's not the only economic driver.
"The new funding announced today will help transform Tasmania's many natural advantages into a competitive edge."
The successful applicants were selected by an assessment panel comprising senior officials from the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and the State Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts and an independent representative of Tasmania's business community.
A list of successful applicants is available from the AusIndustry website.
For more information on the Australian Government's support for Australian business, visit www.ausindustry.gov.au.
Media Contacts: Mark Davis, Minister Combet's office 0400 259 560
Glen Atwell, Minister Crean's office 0403 949 599