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Building a better Tasmania from COVID-19 devastation

Tasmanian Labor has released the COVID-19 Recovery Package, designed to help those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Recovery Package is an inclusive response with a focus on buying local, building local and employing local.

It has been designed to strengthen Tasmanian regions and create a fairer state for everyone.

A key recommendation of the COVID-19 Recovery Package was the Hobart Showground Renewal Project, which presented a great opportunity for the northern suburbs of Hobart.

The project features a redevelopment of the Hobart Showgrounds site and includes more than 500 new homes, community spaces, a new exhibition space and sports field.

Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania president Peter Spotswood said the project would create up to 200 long term construction jobs and 50 FTE jobs on an ongoing basis.

“It addresses a number of important challenges for Hobart, such as affordable housing,” he said.

“Our concept includes 505 residences housing 1,200 people, and parking for 1000 vehicles.”

The concept also included a modern Showground of advanced architectural design, a space for a variety of community-based clubs and organisations, and a large pavilion complex, which would include a new visitor destination showcasing Tasmania’s excellence in agriculture, food and wine production.

The Hobart Showgrounds Renewal Project compliments the progression of the northern suburbs rail corridor which is also included as a recommendation in the COVID-19 Recovery Package.

With the introduction of Hobart Passenger Rail, public transport access and traffic congestion is expected to improve.

Hundreds of jobs will be created and rezoning opportunities along the rail corridor will stimulate building and construction and increase housing supply.

“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package is the result of significant stakeholder consultation across the state with people who are deeply invested in our shared future,” Labor leader Rebecca White said.

“This package is designed to get people into jobs, help those hardest hit by the pandemic and create a better state for everyone.”

COVID-19 has had the greatest economic and social impact on Tasmania in a generation and has amplified the inequality across the state.

Before the virus, Tasmania had the highest rate of underemployment in the country and too many people relied on casual employment, many of whom were the first to lose their jobs when COVID-19 hit.

“The lockdown period was a disruptive and challenging time for us all and I continue to hear people speak about their desire to return to normal,” Labor Member for Elwick Josh Willie said.

“But before the virus, normal wasn’t great for far too many.

“The Hobart Showground Renewal Project and the progression of the rail corridor will help to create jobs while also contributing to the social recovery of our community.”

The COVID-19 Recovery Package forms the basis of Tasmanian Labor’s submission to the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council.

Caption: From left, Member for Elwick Josh Willie, Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White, Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania president Peter Spotswood, Member for Clark Ella Haddad and Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne.