Due to increasing demand on our health system, the Tasmanian Government is making some important improvements to the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment.
On advice from Royal Hobart Hospital clinicians and the Clinical Planning Taskforce, the Government has made the decision to dedicate the entire 10th floor of the new K-block tower at the RHH to create a single general medicine and respiratory medicine ward. By grouping a greater number of general medical and respiratory medicine beds together in one space, patients will receive care on one designated ward, instead of multiple wards. This is expected to result in reduced lengths of stay, meaning they can recover faster and be at home sooner.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to encouraging and fostering innovation in the Science and Information Technology sector, and supporting workforce development and diversity in the ICT industry.
The Government is working with industry partners to develop a new Workforce Development Plan, with a particular focus on encouraging more women into the industry.
In the State Budget, we have committed $75,000 for this important initiative.
In its first meeting, the working group, which includes TasICT and the Australian Computer Society, has begun work on the plan in conjunction with Government agencies.
This Workforce Development Plan will not only create higher value jobs and encourage people to stay in or relocate to Tasmania to start businesses, but will further support the wider economy.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to making sure all Tasmanians have equal opportunity to participate in the digital revolution.
The Government recognises that when Tasmanians are connected to digital services, they are healthier, safer, more productive and able to connect with local, national and OKinternational communities.
The 2018/19 Budget allocates $400,000 over four years to identifying ways to improve access and affordability to digital services, particularly low income households, older Tasmanians and people not in paid employment.
The Department of State Growth is currently working with other Government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and the private sector on a plan to enhance inclusivity for the most vulnerable, and to help close the digital divide, which will soon be rolled out across Tasmania.
The Government already provides all Tasmanians with the opportunity to improve digital capability through LINC Tasmania from more than 50 service points across the state.
LINC Tasmania, to become ‘Libraries Tasmania’ from July 1, oversees 20 Community Online Access Centres, which also provide computers connected to the internet for public access.
And of course, all Tasmanians can access free Wi-Fi via the Government’s Free Wi-Fi network, which has 69 locations around the state.
More than 500,000 users have accessed this service in over 1.3 million sessions since the first hotspot went live at Bridport in December 2015.
The Tasmanian Government will continue to deliver solutions to help close the digital divide in the community.
Tasmania police will welcome 19 new officers to their ranks today following the latest round of graduations.
The 12 men and 7 women will now take up their posts at stations in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.
With an important task at hand, these new officers will put their training into action and begin serving and protecting the Tasmanian community from next week.
In our last term, the Hodgman Liberal Government rebuilt police numbers to 1,233 after the Labor-Green Government sacked more than 100 officers.
Now, we have our sights on making Tasmania a safer place to live by recruiting a further 125 new front line police officers over the next four years.
Recruiting is ongoing for the next scheduled courses which start later this year, and I would urge anyone considering a rewarding career in policing to visit the Tasmanian Police website.
The Hodgman Liberal Government proudly welcomes these new Constables to the ranks and wish them all the best as they forge their own paths within the Tasmanian Police Service.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is a strong supporter of our information and communication technology sector as an enabler of economic growth across all industries.
This sector provides businesses with the capacity to raise their profiles, market products state-wide, nationally and globally, and operate more efficiently. This enables Tasmanians to grow their businesses and create more jobs.
In this Budget, we are delivering on a number of key communication technology commitments made as part of our plan to Build Your Future, including:
The Hodgman Liberal Government is determined to Keep Tasmanians Safe.
That’s why the 2018-19 State Budget delivers on all the commitments we have made as part of our Plan to Build Your Future – that includes continuing to take a hard line stance on law and order, ensuring Tasmania Police officers have the support they require to keep Tasmanians safe, and a range of measures to ease the impact of flood and fire.
We are committed to boosting police numbers by a further 125 sworn officers and embarking on a $10 million dollar build of new police stations. In addition we will provide:
• $400,000 for latest-technology Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) for Tasmania Police, along with training for police officers Statewide. This will assist in a range of specialist police activities including cracking down on anti-social driving to ensure police can capture vehicles used in late night hooning, drag nights and mini-bikes used in urban areas; and
• $4.7 million to continue with plans to replace the Police Vessel Dauntless and by 2021, we will allocate funding of around $6 million for the replacement of the Police Vessel Van Diemen – to better equip for marine rescues, fisheries enforcement and protection of marine resources.
Fire and Emergency Services
• The Government is providing $2 million for volunteer Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service units to apply for equipment and station upgrades
• We are investing $535,000 to develop, sustain and grow Regional Area Teams’ capacity from suitable volunteer fire fighters around the State, providing an exciting career path for those volunteers with good physical fitness levels.
• $12.4 million will be made available to fund the internal fabrication of medium tankers and the purchase of heavy pumpers and aerial appliances as part of the Fire Fighting Appliances Replacement Program.
• A total of $2.8 million is available for the replacement and refurbishment of fire stations.
Flood and Bushfire Mitigation
The Hodgman Liberal Government recognises the importance of flood mitigation and community fire safety. That’s why we are committing:
• an additional $36 million to the Fuel Reduction Program, a nation-leading contemporary and strategic risk-based approach involving the whole of government.
• $1.5 million over three years has been provided to assist with the establishment and ongoing administration of a Flood Policy Unit within the State Emergency Service.
• The Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments are also jointly funding the $3 million Tasmanian Flood Project under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
• $2 million to provide no-interest loans to small businesses to install high-quality CCTV, as part of our crackdown on shoplifting. A maximum loan of $10,000 per business will be available with a three-year repayment term.
• $12 million to build a new Emergency Services Hub at Sorell, in recognition of the rapid growth of the South East region and Sorell in particular.
Tasmanians are well served by a strong emergency service contingent that’s well trained in preparedness, response and recovery. The Hodgman Liberal Government is proud to acknowledge and support both our career and volunteer emergency responders, through our support in the 2018-19 Budget.