- Economic Development Plan
- Our vision
- Achieving our vision
- Why do we need an Economic Development Plan
- A system
- Frequently asked questions
Many government areas of responsibility, such as health and education, are major contributors to social inclusion. The major contribution of economic development to social sustainability is through creating employment, improving skill levels and increasing workforce participation to reduce inequality and poverty. Not all Tasmanians are sharing in our state's prosperity, and economic engagement is lower than that of other Australian states.
The Australian Government delivers the majority of its funding and program support in this area and the 2011 Federal Budget outlined a range of measures designed to get more people into work. The State Government estimates that the total spend by the Australian Government on labour market programs is approximately $70 million, with a further $3 billion annually spent in Tasmania on income support1.
The Australian Government's support for social sustainability was recently reinforced with the announcement that the tax-free threshold be tripled from $6 001 to $18 201 from 1 July 2012 and then to $19 400 from 1 July 2015. This change aims to increase workforce participation particularly for people on low incomes and income support payments, students and mothers of young children able to work on a part-time basis.
Under the Economic Development Plan, the Tasmanian Government will continue to work collaboratively with the Australian Government to maximise the benefits for Tasmanians. In order to avoid duplication, the Tasmanian Government will phase out its own Workforce Participation Program to free up resources for other priorities under this goal, such as providing opportunities for economic engagement outside of the mainstream labour market.
A priority government initiative under social inclusion will be the creation of a social inclusion and work program. This will include:
- targeted support for communities being impacted by structural changes such as those occurring in forestry
- creating economic opportunities for people not in the labour market, through microfinance and social enterprise projects
- working with the business community and the Department of Education to create job and training opportunities for young people leaving school in communities with high levels of youth unemployment and inter-generational poverty.
1 This figure is approximate and has been derived from ABS data. The percentage of Tasmania’s GSP made up of income support payments in 2009, 14.1 per cent, from Economic Indicators 2010, ABS Catalogue 41020, and Tasmania’s total GSP in 09-10, $22.342 billion, from Australia’s National Accounts: State Accounts 2009-2010, ABS Catalogue 5220.