Barton Deakin Brief: Tasmanian State Budget 2020-21

Date: Nov 2020

Barton Deakin Brief: Tasmanian State Budget 2020-21

13 November 2020


On 12 November the Tasmanian Premier and Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Gutwein MP, delivered the 2020-21 Tasmanian State Budget.

Summary of Economic Indicators & Outlook

Revenue: $6.812 billion over the forward estimates.

Net Debt: $4.38 billion by 2023-24.

Operating deficit: $1.1 billion. Forecasted to improve to $281 million deficit in FY2021-22 and to $13.9 million surplus by FY2022-23.

Economic Growth: 3.75 per cent.

Employment: forecasted to rise to about 8.5 per cent.

COVID-19 Response

  • $800 million for public order and $551 million for social protection, totalling 17 per cent of total appropriations in the state’s budget.
  • $145 million for a provision for currently unknown or uncertain COVID-19 related expenditure.
    • $50 million to initiatives to support businesses and the economy, assist women back into work, support the cultural and performing arts sector, improve the environment and invest in public housing infrastructure upgrades.
  • The Payroll Tax Rebate applying to apprentices, trainees and youth extended until 30 June 2022 at a cost of $22 million.
  • $676,000 over two years to support the development of a regionally based model for coordinating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


$5 billion of infrastructure investment over 5 years to support 25,000 jobs in the state.

Of that, $3.9 billion will go to community infrastructure projects in the following areas:

  • $2.4 billion for roads and bridges;
  • $369.6 million for hospital and health;
  • $296.8 million for human services and housing;
  • $275.4 million for law and order;
  • $218.1 million for schools and education;
  • $198.1 million for tourism, recreation and culture; and
  • $135.4 million for ICT support service delivery.
  • An additional $315 million will go to transport.
  • $70 million for maintenance of existing infrastructure through the government’s Public Building Maintenance Program.
  • $4.6 million to deliver more efficient processing of Crown Land transactions to ensure infrastructure opportunities are fully realised.
  • $10 million for the Building Projects Support Program to bring forward community or commercial shovel ready projects.

Energy & Resources

  • $16 million for renewable hydrogen implementation in Tasmania.
  • $3.8 million over four years to support the delivery of Project Marinus, Battery of the Nation, Renewable Hydrogen, the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan and a Renewable Energy Coordination Framework.
  • $9.5 million to the Waste Action Plan and Container Refund Deposit Scheme.
  • $5.5 million in grants matched dollar-for-dollar by the Australian Government to invest at least $16.5 million in new commercial recycling opportunities that create long-term sustainable jobs in the state.
  • $10 million to co-invest with the existing waste management sector in Tasmania to build the infrastructure needed to collect and sort recyclable waste.
  • As part of the COVID-19 Provision, a further $15 million will be allocated for public housing heating and energy efficiency initiatives.
  • $8.4 million to the Freycinet Peninsula Wastewater program.
  • $3.2 million to boost maintenance of National Parks and $1.6 million for improved boat and trailer parking for recreational fishers.
  • $300,000 to fund a review of the climate change act and emissions reduction target.
  • $2.3 million over three years to implement the Electric Vehicle Zero Emissions Strategy.
  • $10 million no-interest loan scheme for large Tasmanian greenhouse gas emitting businesses and industries to trial existing clean technologies or test new production processes that will lead to reduced emissions.


Increased expenditure of $391.2 million for the hospital and health system, bringing total spending on health to $2.5 billion.

$9.8 billion has been allocated to health resourcing over the next four years, including:

  • $89.8 million for the Royal Hobart Hospital Stage 2 redevelopment, including an expanded emergency department;
  • $79.8 million for the continued redevelopment of the Launceston General Hospital;
  • $33 million to fund the continued upgrade of the Mersey Community Hospital;
  • $60 million increase in elective surgery spending;
  • $19.8 million for more mental health beds;
  • $50.2 million over the next two years for support staff and beds in the major hospitals;
  • $4.9 million over two years to implement the Reform Agenda for the Alcohol and Drug sector;
  • $8.1 million over two years to implement Phase One of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Review Recommendations; and
  • $391 million for a capital works program.


An additional $218.1 million will bring total expenditure on education to $1.8 billion (and $7.5 billion over four years), including:

  • $204 million for new and refurbished schools in Tasmania, in addition to $28 million for six new child and family learning centres;
  • $10 million for primary schools to reduce the teaching load for primary teachers;
  • $1 million for students experiencing trauma and students with disability;
  • $13 million for vocational training, with $2 million for specialist teachers in areas of high demand;
  • $14 million over four years to support low-income Tasmanians with school levies and charges;
  • An additional $7 million for the Energy, Trade and Water Centre of Excellence at Clarence;
  • Additional $2 million in funding over two years for more teachers in TasTAFE in high demand areas including aged care, electro technology, plumbing and nursing; and,
  • $570,000 over three years to support the achievement of the intended outcomes of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy and School-based Traineeship Program and for the delivery of Aboriginal Cultural Respect training for State Senior Executive Service and Senior Managers.


Tourism funding announcements include:

  • $1 million to establish a new not-for-profit Tourism and Hospitality registered training organisation;
  • $200,000 to support tourism and hospitality businesses with financial counselling, including in rural areas;
  • $68 million for the Cradle Mountain Experience, and $19.4 million for Tasmania’s new walk in the Tyndall Ranges; and
  • $10 million as part of a $17.5 million upgrade to meet the requirements for an international terminal as well as an additional $5 million towards an $11 million upgrade of the Launceston Airport’s infrastructure.

Housing and Community


  • $227 million for housing and community amenities.
  • $300 million additional funding to the housing ‘Construction Blitz’.
  • The Affordable Housing Action Plan includes:
    • $10 million for a new Hobart Youth foyer;
    • $22 million for new supported accommodation facilities around Hobart;
    • Delivery of the Huntingfield land release project, a subdivision that will provide around 470 residential lots;
    • $5 million for a new Launceston Youth at Risk Centre;
    • $4 million to expand the Magnolia House Women’s Shelter;
    • $5 million to expand Thyne House and transition it into a youth foyer model;
    • $10 million for a new Burnie Youth foyer; and
    • $2 million to deliver the North West Men’s Shelter.

Arts and Culture

  • $500,000 over two years for screen production investment and $1 million over two years to implement the Community Arts and Cultural Development program.
  • A further $2.5 million commitment to an arts and cultural support fund, with $1.5 million in grants to support performers and artists and $1 million to support to produce new work.

Sport and Entertainment

  • $4 million across AFL, Basketball, Football and Cricket in Tasmania, as well as an additional $4 million for Ticket to Play, to help more young Tasmanians participate in community sport.
  • The Derwent Entertainment Centre to be ungraded to a national elite-standard basketball facility, with a multi-sports facility development adjacent at a cost of $68.5 million.
  • $250,000 to develop a Sports Facility Strategy for Tasmania, and $2 million over four years for additional operating costs at the Silverdome.
  • $250,000 to the Launceston City Council to progress planning for the redevelopment of UTAS Stadium.
  • $8 million over the next two years to develop new facilities for harness and greyhound racing on the North West Coast.

Community Safety

  • $3.5 million for the construction of a purpose built State Operations Centre.
  • $1.7 million for State Emergency Services to develop capability in Community Protection Planning for flood and storm hazards.
  • $2.7 million for the national Emergency Alert system and $5.4 million to address costs associated with the Triple Zero emergency service.

Regions and Agriculture

  • $168.7 million for Tranches 2 and 3 Irrigation Projects, including $15 million to prioritise the Don Scheme over the next two years.
  • The Tasmanian Trade Strategy to be bolstered with $2.7 million over two years to ensure Tasmanian produce are marketed worldwide.
  • An additional $3 million over five years for the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), and $7 million over two years to modernise the Crown and TIA research farms.
  • $10.5 million over four years for biosecurity, and $4.6 million for the Weeds Action Fund to allow farmers, Landcare and other community organisations to tackle weeds that impact agricultural and environmental assets.
  • $250,000 to deliver contemporary marine spatial planning.
  • $8 million over two years to support the State Fire Commission’s activities and to improve Tasmania’s ongoing capacity to respond to bushfires.

Jobs and Small Business

  • Extension of the Small Business Grant Scheme until 30 June 2022.
  • $10 million for additional support for hospitality businesses to provide reimbursements up to a capped amount against their energy bills for the first quarter of FY2020-21. Support will be provided to pubs, bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants, which have eat-in dining or drinking, with turnover of above $50,000.
  • $3.15 million for jobs hubs over two years to support employment.
  • $2.5 million over two years to develop a state-wide program to enable and empower more women to participate more broadly across the Tasmanian economy.

Further Information

Budget Papers

Budget Speech

For further information, please contact John Griffin on +61 419 901 159, Georga Nonnenmacher on +61 457 662 422 or John Fitzgerald on +61 488 111 568.