By Minister for Infrastructure Jeremy Rockliff
This month saw the launch of Australia’s newest and biggest cargo ship, the Tasmanian Achiever II, at the Burnie port.
The Tasmanian Achiever II will increase Toll’s Bass Strait carrying capacity by 40 per cent.
This is a massive increase in capacity, and together with Searoad’s recent investment in the SeaRoad Mersey II, this will allow Tasmanian producers and businesses to export more of our highly sought after products in both the national and international markets.
This private sector investment in Bass Strait freight capacity is also a huge vote of confidence in the Hodgman Liberal Government’s management of our economy and its job-creating, investment-friendly policy action.
It is no secret Tasmania has highly sought after products, from our premium agricultural produce, to our raw earth mining exports. Both these industries support thousands of jobs, many of which are located across regional Tasmania.
Toll’s investment will also ensure that Tasmanian businesses and communities have another important link for inward goods for the continued operation of their businesses.
Toll Group’s investment recognises the strength of our economy and export sector, and the Tasmanian Achiever II is part of Toll Group’s $311 million investment in two new ships and wharf upgrades to Port of Burnie and Webb Dock in Melbourne.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on International Merchandise Exports shows that Tasmanian exports during the 2018 calendar year were the highest since ABS records began.
In the year to December 2018 Tasmania exported more than $3.78 billion in goods and produce, an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to the previous year.
Leading Tasmanian export sectors were metal and mining industries, followed by our world class agricultural products.
The Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to implement initiatives to create jobs and boost economic growth in Tasmania. We have a target to grow the farm gate value of the agricultural sector to $10 billion per annum by 2050, and targeting a 50 per cent increase in new mining ventures over five years.