JCTEC minutes, Friday, 13 March 2015

Location: Hobart

Attendees

  • Mr Dale Elphinstone, Council Co-chair, Executive Chairman, the Elphinstone Group (Chair)
  • The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister and Council Co-chair
  • The Hon Joe Hockey MP, the Treasurer, Commonwealth of Australia (by tele-conference)
  • The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, the Minister for Industry, Commonwealth of Australia
  • The Hon Will Hodgman MP, the Premier of the State of Tasmania
  • The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, the Treasurer of the State of Tasmania
  • Mr Bob Calvert, Chair, Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency Advisory Board
  • Professor Janelle Allison, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Regional Development), University of Tasmania
  • Mr Wayne Bould, Executive Chairman and Trustee of the Bonney Group of Companies
  • Mr Chris Oldfield, Chief Executive Officer, Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd

Tasmanian Freight

The Council welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s announcement that it will strengthen Tasmanian business, investment and jobs through a $203 million expansion to the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme.  The expanded Freight Equalisation Scheme will boost the competitiveness of Tasmanian businesses and provide a substantial incentive for local businesses to sell their products to broader markets.

Tasmanian Irrigation Tranche II scheme funding

The Council welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s investment of $60 million in Tasmanian Irrigation’s Tranche II irrigation schemes, announced in February 2015. The schemes will generate 150 full-time jobs, support horticultural enterprises, and unlock opportunities in the dairy, wine and fruit and vegetable industries.

Revitalising the Forestry Industry

The Council discussed ideas for revitalising the forestry industry and noted the Tasmanian Government would shortly finalise its Review of Forestry Tasmania.

Tasmanian Horticulture Market Growth Project

The Council discussed a proposal which will support the identification and development of market opportunities for the Tasmanian fruit and vegetable industries.  The Council agreed to further development of the proposal, in consultation with the Tasmanian Government and with industry.

Hemp as a food product

The Council received a progress report on consideration by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation of permitting low THC hemp to be grown and sold as a food product. The Council will continue to monitor progress on this issue.

Attracting investment

The Council noted the valuable assistance that the Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency is providing to those looking to invest in Tasmania. The Agency has engaged with a number of proponents and collaborated with the Tasmanian Government to produce regulatory fact sheets that assist proponents to navigate Commonwealth and State planning approval processes. The Council also noted the progress in the Tasmanian Government's Expressions of Interest process for sensitive and appropriate tourism offerings in National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Joint Commonwealth, Tasmanian State Government and OECD Workshop on Job Creation and Local Economic Development—Launceston 12-13 March 2015

The Council noted the workshop had discussed the priorities of supporting job creation, increasing workforce participation, skills utilisation and reducing youth unemployment.

Next meeting

The Council agreed to continue meeting for another eighteen months and to consider further structural reforms to boost the Tasmanian economy. The Council will next meet in June 2015 and will consider options to boost Tasmania’s status as a gateway to Antarctica.