Image for websiteWITH an election now called, Tasmania must have a majority government if we are to stimulate jobs and investment in the state.

The blunt message was put forward by TCCI CEO Michael Bailey in response to the March 15 election announcement.

“With the Labor Government scrapping its relationship with the Greens, Tasmanians now have a clear choice of either major party,” Mr Bailey said.

“The past four years has seen investment and growth remain sluggish at best.

“Whether real or imagined the prevailing view is that the alliance between the Greens and Labor has discouraged business investment and this has left Tasmania with the highest unemployment rate and slowest economic growth in the nation.

“Tasmania must have a majority government and an administration able to make sound decisions without pandering to minority interests.”

Mr Bailey’s comments came as the TCCI unveiled its election strategy, calling for a reduction in red tape, a simpler tax system along with easier processes to employ people and improved infrastructure.

“It might sound simple, but Tasmanian business is screaming out for genuine economic reform as a way to ensure this great state can continue to grow and prosper,” Mr Bailey said.

“The TCCI’s `The Big 4, You can’t Ignore’ campaign is the voice of Tasmanian business, big and small.

“The campaign has the full support of the National Chamber body, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) who have been overwhelmed by the number of Tasmanian businesses who have pledged their support to The Big 4.”

All up, there are 110,000 businesses across Australia who have signed up to the campaign.

Mr Bailey said the focus of the campaign would now be on Tasmania, focusing on:

  • Cutting red tape to make it cheaper and easier to do business in Tasmania.

It cost Tasmanian business $610 in administrative hours to ensure regulation compliance in 2012.

  • Simplifying the tax system which will encourage investment and strengthen incentives for entrepreneurship as well as a review of payroll tax and stamp duty to help kick start the economy.
  • Moving to make it easier to employ people with the aim to create jobs and tackle rising unemployment. Figures supplied by the Tasmanian Small Business Council showing 21,000 Tasmanian enterprises don’t employ staff, with many deterred by the complexity and cost of employing their first worker.
  • Building better infrastructure to improve road, rail and sea transport for Tasmanian Business.

Put simply, Bass Strait sea transport is too expensive for Tasmanian exporters and interstate tourists and Tasmania’s highway and tourist roads need urgent attention.

Mr Bailey said the campaign reflected 12 months of face-to-face meetings, forums and research to look at the fundamental needs and concerns of Tasmanian industry.

“The majority government component of the campaign was precipitated by the Tasmanian Survey of Tasmanian Business Expectation in October-November,” he said.

“The survey results were quite staggering, with 92 per cent of members and the industry telling us that a majority government would improve the prospects of their business.

“It was a response we couldn’t ignore.”

The TCCI campaign will filter through all media  and online sites as well as meetings, forums and flyers circulated throughout the state.

“We’re targeting the parties to make it clear they understand what the industry is saying and what the industry wants from a majority government in March.”