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JCTEC minutes, Thursday, 28 April 2016

Location: Waterfront Boardroom, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania

Members present:

  • The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister and Co-chair
  • Mr Dale Elphinstone, Co-chair, Executive Chairman, the Elphinstone Group
  • The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer (representing the Commonwealth Treasurer)
  • The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science (by tele-conference)
  • Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment
  • The Hon Will Hodgman MP, the Premier of Tasmania
  • The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, the Treasurer of Tasmania
  • Mr Bob Calvert, Chair, Major Projects Approval Agency Advisory Board
  • Professor Janelle Allison, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Regional Development), University of Tasmania
  • Mr Wayne Bould, Executive Chairman and Trustee of the Bonney Group of Companies
  • Ms Lynn Mason, Chair of the Tasmanian Community Fund (by video-conference)
  • Ms Alison Watkins, Group Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia (by video-conference)

Record of Meeting

This was the sixth meeting of the Council and the first attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister Christopher Pyne, Minister Richard Colbeck and new business members Ms Alison Watkins and Ms Lynn Mason. The Commonwealth Treasurer was unable to attend and was represented by the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, Alex Hawke.

The Council noted the improvement in the Tasmanian economy since the Council's first meeting in December 2013 and that the State's business confidence is now amongst the strongest in the nation. The Council noted the wide range of initiatives, plans and strategies being implemented by the State Government to drive further economic growth and the opportunity provided by the Council to deepen collaboration between governments and business.

Notwithstanding the progress made, the Council also noted that Tasmania still faced a number of challenges and agreed that a focus on infrastructure and education would further enhance and sustain economic prosperity across the State.

Tasmania's infrastructure

The Council discussed Tasmania's infrastructure priorities and noted that the State Government has established Infrastructure Tasmania to deliver a coordinated and planned approach to the provision of Tasmania's infrastructure.

The Council noted the significant challenges presented to Tasmania's energy security by the fault in the Basslink interconnector and measures the Tasmanian Government has in place to address the situation. It also noted the agreement of the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments to conduct a feasibility study of whether building a second interconnector would help address long term energy security issues.

The Council noted the progress of the five Tranche II irrigation schemes and the challenges posed by Tasmania's ageing and dispersed water and sewerage infrastructure. The Council agreed to further discussions on how to address the challenges presented.

Education and workforce development

The Council noted that Tasmania faces unique education and training challenges. It also noted the State Government's proposed reforms to the Education Act to ensure that it is contemporary, flexible and sets the standards and expectations for a high performing education system in Tasmania.

The Council discussed the critical importance of boosting education attainment to the State's future economic growth prospects, and agreed to collaborate further on options to improve education outcomes across the education cycle.