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David O'Byrne

Minister for Environment Parks and Heritage
Minister for Workplace Relations
Minister for Arts
Minister for Hospitality
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Arts

As Minister for the Arts, I am proud to present a series of initiatives in this budget that will see Tasmania's vibrant arts sector continue to thrive.

Tasmania has some great success stories in the arts. The talent and skills base in the sector is both broad and deep, ranging from pioneering digital puppetry by Terrapin, text based theatre and the TSO in the performing arts, through to world class museum experiences and innovation in the visual arts and design sector.

This budget contains several important new commitments in the area of the arts, whilst continuing support for existing arts programs. Ongoing funding of $1 million over four years has been committed to the area of Arts and Disability to make arts activities more accessible for Tasmanians with a disability. Community and youth broadcaster Edge Radio will receive new funding of $200,000 over four years to support its operations. The Premier's Arts Partnership Fund will continue to receive the same level of government support as in the past, with $75,000 per annum committed to support this program providing matched funding for business partnerships with arts organisations.

These budget initiatives will help the arts to develop audiences and markets for their work, and assist them to create works of excellence for the Tasmanian community. I am looking forward to seeing these initiatives make a positive impact for the arts in Tasmania.

Environment, Parks and Heritage

Our iconic parks and unique natural places, ancient and wild mountains and beautiful coastlines are fundamental to our identity as Tasmanians. The people of Tasmania know that our parks and reserves are key drivers for our local and regional economies.

The State Government recognise that visitor services, investment in tourism infrastructure and provision of support services are vital for the economic health of those communities and for managing the range of special values protected in our reserves.

The Government will provide $2.5 million per annum to the Parks and Wildlife Service to support up to 30 new rangers, which will be deployed across the state in a number of key locations.

An additional funding boost of $16 million over four years for the Parks and Wildlife Service will build its capacity to manage Tasmania's world-renowned national parks and reserves. In the first year this will be allocated to a range of priorities, including support for the new Bay of Fires National Park, activities associated with the State's marine reserves and a scientific fund for research in protected areas.

$1.4 million per annum will be provided to support the Parks and Wildlife Service's management of the risk of fire in Tasmania's reserves and to enhance the fire fighting capacity of volunteer fire brigades.

The Government is also committed to building the next iconic Tasmanian Bushwalk and has committed $12.8 million to the proposed Three Capes Track. The Track will showcase the unique rugged coastline and superb natural heritage of the Tasman Peninsula. This iconic walk has the potential to deliver up to $188 million annually to the Tasmanian economy and 1563 jobs by 2017. The 3 Capes Walk would also see a substantial boost to Parks resourcing on the Peninsula and the subsequent management of reserves in the area.

Over $3.8 million is also being provided for vital infrastructure works and management activities in a range of parks and reserves across the state, such as the Arthur-Pieman, Coles Bay, Hastings, Low Head, camping sites across the northeast, and Wineglass Bay.

The 2010-11 Budget continues our strong support for the sustainable management and protection of the State's natural assets.

Sport and Recreation

The State Government will continue to work with Sport and Recreation and Tasmania's sporting leagues and clubs to ensure that all Tasmanians are physically active.

The budget has great news for Sport and Recreation in Tasmania with $8.7 million worth of investment. This includes major funding injection for Tasmania's surf life saving clubs and Football infrastructure, as well as funding for sporting facilities from each corner of Tasmania. There is also an additional $2 million boost to Tasmania's cycleways, on top of the $2 million already pledged.

These commitments will assist in getting and keeping Tasmanians from all walks of life active and help to promote longer-term health benefits and social inclusion. These outcomes will help build a healthier Tasmania for tomorrow.

Workplace Relations

The State Government is committed to a safe work environment for all Tasmanians and, as Workplace Relations Minister, I will work hard to ensure that our legislative framework is the strongest in the country.

With this in mind, in the 2010-11 budget, the Government is acting to manage the impact of asbestos with the establishment of the Asbestos Unit, which will sit within Workplace Standards Tasmania. The Unit has been allocated $200,000 per annum over four years and will initially investigate the registration and prioritised removal of asbestos in Tasmania.

The State Government is committed to this action plan and I will continue to work closely with Workplace Standards Tasmania to ensure that the identification, removal and disposal of asbestos is undertaken in such a way that makes the State a world-leader in this area.

Hospitality

The hospitality industry is important to Tasmania both financially and socially.

Nearly every Tasmanian has close personal experience with hospitality but the sector works on a much bigger level too.

For many of the visitors who come to Tasmania and support our economy with tourist dollars, their most important human contact - the faces they think of when they remember their Tasmanian trip - will be our hotel and restaurant workers - the people who make sure our guests are comfortable, well fed and feel looked after.

So, as well as being a key financial driver for Tasmania, the hospitality industry is critical to our perception of what it feels like to live in or visit Tasmania.

With this in mind, the 2010-11 Budget delivers some key programmes that will help our valuable hospitality sector remain strong. The State Government has committed $100,000 over four years to help establish a Hospitality Sector Skill Development Initiative. By introducing this program, the government is saying it recognises the need to upskill workers, particularly those in part time and casual work.

All Tasmanians want our hospitality venues to be safe, and that's why the Government has committed to providing funding support for Pub Watch, a scheme which helps businesses to share information that will stop banned patrons from entering venues. This will be rolled out across the State and it's a great example of how beneficial it can be when venues and authorities work together.

Finally, the really important thing is that the State Government continues to listen to industry and to act decisively to ensure that the hospitality sector remains a key driver for our economy. As the Minister for Hospitality, I will listen to the views of the sector and act accordingly when able to bring about outcomes that add value for all Tasmanians.