The Board’scurrent focusareasinclude:
Continueduseofthe Board’s powers to pursue the government’s agenda to drive state growth and employment through increased business investment and activity.
Continued use of the Board’s capacity to support the government’s economic development policies, objectives and priorities including consideration of new programs.
WorkingwiththeOffice of theCoordinator-Generaltosupportthe attraction ofnew investmentanddevelopmenttoTasmania.Areasoffocuscontinuetoinclude agribusiness,tourism,information communicationandtechnology,international education,miningandresources.TheCoordinator-General provides an update to each meeting of the Board.
The Chair, Brian Scullin, was reappointed for a second term of three years effective upon the completion of his first term on 30November2017.
The Board activities in the next quarter will include the administration and assessment of key programs including:
- Tasmanian Government’s AgriGrowth Concessional Loan Scheme
Applications for the $20 million Scheme opened on 31August2015 for an initial trial of 12 months. Following a review in August 2016, the Scheme has been extended until 30September2018.
- The Drought Assistance and Dairy Recovery Concessional Loan Schemes
Launched in November2016 under the Australian Government’s Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme allowing eligible farmers to borrow up to 50% of eligible farm business debt, up to $1million over a maximum of 10 years. The Schemes are open until 30June2017 or until funding is fully committed, whichever occurs first.
- The Flood Recovery Loan Scheme
Launched in June2016 to assist primary producers and small businesses directly affected by the June2016 floods providing loans ranging from $25000 to $200000 for eligible businesses. The scheme closed for applications on 31March2017.
- Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) Recovery Concessional Loan Scheme
The Scheme was open from April to 1December2016 and has now closed. During the period the loan scheme was open, the Department received 15 enquiries and processed four applications, all of which were approved for a total loan value of $1 million. Following a request from the industry body, Oysters Tasmania, the government have agreed to reopen the scheme until 1May2018.
- Pilot Loan Guarantee Scheme
The Scheme was established as a pilot scheme of $500 000 to assist small to medium size enterprise located in the north-west and western regions of Tasmania to access mainstream finance providers to fund business expansion. Applications opened on 18January2017 and will remain open until 31October2017.
- Tourism Accommodation Refurbishment Loan Scheme
The Scheme was established to provide for up to $20 million to be made available over an initial two-year period, for low-interest loans for eligible tourism accommodation businesses operating in Tasmania. Applications opened on 26 July 2017 and will remain open for a period of up to two years at which time a review of the scheme will be undertaken.
Themaindecisionsandrecommendations madetogovernmentduringthisquarter included applications under the following Programs:No of Loans / Total Loans
AgriGrowth Loan Scheme / 2 / $1 770 000
Farm Business Drought Assistance Concessional Loans / 8 / $7 350 000
Farm Business Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans / 5 / $3 430 000
Flood Recovery Loan Scheme / 4 / $ 550 000
Tourism Accommodation Refurbishment Loan Scheme / 1 / $1 500 000
In addition, the Board recommended and the Minister endorsed the establishment of the Tourism Accommodation Refurbishment Loan Scheme administered by the TDR with administrative support provided by the Office of the Coordinator-General and State Growth. The Scheme is part of the government’s continuing commitment to the visitor economy and will provide assistance to tourism operators, particularly in regional Tasmania, to improve the standard of the tourism offering in Tasmania and assist operators within the sector to lift the standard of their product or services. Loans will be provided for a minimum of $50 000 to a maximum of $1.5 million.