See the full Tasmanian Budget papers here.

 1     The 2021‑22 Budget

Key Issues

· The 2021‑22 Budget is focussed on securing Tasmania’s future through:

– record investment in the delivery of essential services;

– delivery of all commitments made as part of the 2021 Election campaign;

– continuing to support the Tasmanian community in its response and recovery from the COVID‑19 pandemic; and

– other targeted initiatives.

· Funding of almost $1.6 billion is provided in the 2021‑22 Budget to meet election commitments. In addition, the Budget also includes additional funding totalling almost $1.2 billion for key priority areas: COVID‑19 response and recovery; areas of increasing demand including health costs; and additional commitments announced in the 2021 State of the State address.

· The 2021‑22 Budget provides for $4.6 billion in infrastructure investment, of which $3.8 billion will be delivered through Government agencies. In addition, the 2021‑22 Budget supports infrastructure investment delivered by government businesses and other entities, with $783.8 million in equity funding contributed to support investment.

· The Government has also announced it will support investment of $385 million for the largest port redevelopments in Tasmania’s history, including the $240 million Port of Devonport redevelopment and the $145 million Port of Burnie upgrade. The Government will also support Hydro Tasmania, with $700 million to be invested in the redevelopment of the Tarraleah power station.

· Responsible financial management remains a priority of the Government and key fiscal measures included in the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates forecast that the Government will return to an operating cash surplus in 2022‑23, and from 2023‑24, the Budget will return to a Net Operating Balance surplus.

· The Tasmanian economy is expected to have grown by two per cent in 2020‑21, with the continued recovery expected to drive growth in the Tasmanian economy of four per cent in 2021‑22, buoyed by strong growth in household consumption and government expenditure.

· Tasmania’s successful containment of the virus has also meant that the labour market has recovered strongly since the height of the pandemic in Tasmania in May 2020. In June 2021, employment was above its pre‑pandemic record high and the continuing recovery in the broader economy means that employment is expected to grow strongly in 2021‑22 at two per cent, and then at its long term average over the Forward Estimates. Given the strong economic recovery, increased employment of around 8 000 persons in year‑average terms over the two‑year forecast period to June 2023 would be consistent with these forecasts.

· While the social and economic impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic have been less than originally forecast, the pandemic continues to have an ongoing impact on the day‑to‑day lives of Tasmanians. Initiatives incorporated in the 2021‑22 Budget will provide targeted support and stimulate growth across the State.

2021‑22 Budget Context

Over the past year, Australia has managed the COVID‑19 pandemic with relative success. Reflecting this success, economic activity has recovered faster than anticipated, with the outlook over the next few years positive. While Australia is in the early stages of its vaccine rollout, it is expected that this will continue to support the economic recovery and boost confidence.

The successful management of the virus in Tasmania has allowed for the easing of many activity restrictions, with closures of the State’s borders with other states and territories occurring only in response to specific outbreaks in other jurisdictions.

The Tasmanian Government’s COVID‑19 response and recovery measures that were included in the 2020‑21 Budget, were unprecedented in scale, and have played a major role in supporting Tasmanian households and businesses. Infrastructure investment, at both a State and national level, has also supported jobs and stimulated economic activity over the past year. Historically low interest rates, alongside the Australian and Tasmanian HomeBuilder programs, have provided a significant boost to the residential construction sector.

The Tasmanian economy grew by 0.3 per cent in 2019‑20, in contrast to the economic contractions experienced by most other states and the national economy. Growth of two per cent is expected in 2020‑21, with growth of four per cent expected in 2021‑22, supported by strong growth in household consumption and government expenditure. Through 2022‑23, growth in household consumption is expected to continue, with a gradual recovery in international tourism and overseas migration anticipated to support consumption.

The labour market has rebounded strongly since the height of the pandemic and employment is expected to grow strongly in 2021‑22 at two percent and the unemployment rate is expected to be around 5½ per cent in both 2021‑22 and 2022‑23.

The stronger than expected economic recovery at a State and national level has contributed to material increases in revenue in the 2021‑22 Budget. There have been significant upward revisions to GST pool forecasts by the Australian Government since the 2020‑21 Budget, and continued strength in State Taxation revenue, particularly conveyance duty receipts.

The strength of the economy and growth in revenues, has enabled the Government to fund all of its 2021 election commitments, new initiatives, and additional infrastructure investment, while also providing additional funding to meet increased demand for health services, and continuing to meet all Fiscal Strategy Strategic Actions. The Budget will return to an operating cash surplus in 2022‑23, and from 2023‑24, the Budget will return to a Net Operating Balance surplus.

The Budget is supported by a positive economic and fiscal outlook. However, Tasmania’s economic and fiscal circumstances may change quickly and materially. The impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic continues to evolve, as demonstrated by the recent return to lockdowns across a number of jurisdictions in Australia, and continuing incidences of new cases across the world. The Government continues to carefully manage the long‑term needs of the Tasmanian community and the overall Budget position.

2021‑22 Budget Highlights and Funding Priorities

Election Commitments and Other Priorities

The 2021‑22 Budget funds all commitments made as part of the 2021 Election campaign, with new funding of almost $1.6 billion over the Budget and Forward Estimates. The 2021‑22 Budget also includes additional commitments in key priority areas, targeting COVID‑19 response and recovery; areas of increasing demand including health costs; and additional commitments announced in the 2021 State of the State address which total almost $1.2 billion over the Budget and Forward Estimates. In the 2021‑22 Budget, key election and other commitments include:

  • $198 million to the Tasmanian Health Service to meet demand faced by major hospitals and to support opening beds in major hospitals;
  • $120 million to address elective surgery demand in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic;
  • $52 million to strengthen palliative and community health care;
  • $50 million for Phases One and Two of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Review Report;
  • $41 million to fund additional paramedics including two new crews in Hobart and Launceston;
  • $37.6 million to fund an extra 100 TasTAFE teachers;
  • $30.5 million for the cost of extending Tasmanian hotel quarantine;
  • $30 million to implement the Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy;
  • $26 million to support mental health services;
  • $20.5 million for the Working Tasmania Program;
  • $18.3 million to implement a new safe staffing model in District Hospitals;
  • $18 million to support tourism marketing;
  • $18 million to ensure communities are bushfire safe and to support career and volunteer firefighters;
  • $18 million to secure Tasmania’s iconic events;
  • $16 million to increase access for rural and regional students;
  • $10.6 million for a fully funded police officer relief policy;
  • $10.1 million to support youth housing initiatives;
  • $10 million to guide the Government’s response to addressing climate change;
  • $9.4 million for an additional 50 police officers;
  • $9.1 million to implement the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act;
  • $9 million for new ambulances and equipment;
  • $8.8 million to support the delivery of free or low‑cost legal services;
  • $8 million to implement the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan and Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Action Plan priorities;
  • $8 million  to establish an events support attraction fund;
  • $8 million to work in partnership with industry and other organisations to support workforce development;
  • $8 million to improve the amenity and health of the Tamar River;
  • $6.3 million to support cultural and creative industries;
  • $6 million to underwrite a new INCAT vessel;
  • $6 million to support students impacted by trauma;
  • $5.6 million for a new Community Farming Partnerships Program;
  • $5.4 million for school health nurses;
  • $5 million to implement the Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan;
  • $4 million to support the tourism hospitality sector; and
  • $3.8 million to provide free access to speech pathologists, psychologists and social workers in Child and Family Learning Centres.

Detailed information on these and other initiatives over the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates is provided in the Key Deliverables section of each entity’s chapter within Government Services Budget Paper No 2. A full listing of election commitments and other initiatives funded in the 2021‑22 Budget is provided in Appendix 2 of chapter 1 of Government Services Budget Paper No 2.

Infrastructure Investment

The provision of total infrastructure funding of $4.6 billion in the 2021‑22 Budget maintains the Government’s strong commitment to infrastructure investment, continuing to support Tasmania’s recovery from the COVID‑19 pandemic. This investment is intended to boost the confidence of Tasmanian businesses across industries to continue to invest and grow over the short and medium term.

Infrastructure investment primarily consists of investment through Government agencies of $3.8 billion to deliver community infrastructure projects including:

  • roads and bridges ($2 billion);
  • hospitals and health ($503.7 million);
  • human services and housing ($404.9 million);
  • schools, education and skills ($335.8 million);
  • law and order ($238.8 million);
  • tourism, recreation and culture ($183.6 million); and
  • ICT support to service delivery ($145.4 million).

In addition, $783.8 million in equity contributions is provided to government businesses and other entities, to support investment. This includes equity contributions of $65 million to Stadium Authority Trust to oversee the development and management of stadium assets and $64.6 million to the Macquarie Point Development Corporation to progress the next stage of the Macquarie Point development.

The Government has also announced it will support investment of $385 million for the largest port redevelopments in Tasmania’s history, including the $240 million Port of Devonport redevelopment and the $145 million Port of Burnie upgrade. The Government will also support Hydro Tasmania, with $700 million to be invested in the redevelopment of the Tarraleah power station.

A number of the next generation infrastructure projects extend beyond the current Forward Estimates period, including the Launceston General Hospital Redevelopment ‑ Stage 2, West Tamar Highway Traffic Solution, projects funded under the Roads of Strategic Importance program and the $80 million Tamar River Bridge. The Government is committed to an ongoing pipeline of work to provide the building and construction sector with the confidence to continue to invest and employ.

2021‑22 Budget Estimates Summary

The following sections provide summary information on the key 2021‑22 Budget estimates. Further information on these estimates is provided throughout this Budget Paper. Information on an entity basis is provided within Government Services Budget Paper No 2.

Table 1.1:         Key Budget and Forward Estimate Aggregates, 2020‑21 to 2024‑25
2020‑21 2020‑21 2021‑22 2022‑23 2023‑24 2024‑25
Preliminary Forward Forward Forward
Budget Outcome Budget Estimate Estimate Estimate
$m $m $m $m $m $m
General Government Sector
Revenue 6 428.1  6 852.7 7 257.5 7 542.7 7 776.8 8 051.3
Expenses 7 546.1 7 264.1 7 947.2 7 629.2 7 737.4 7 924.5
Net Operating Surplus/(Deficit) (1 118.0) (411.5) (689.8) (86.4) 39.4 126.8
Fiscal Surplus/(Deficit) (1 779.7) (596.7) (1 041.2) (501.3) (478.1) (315.4)
Net Debt at 30 June1 1 854.8 459.1 1 704.4 2 519.1 3 059.5 3 478.6
GFS Net Debt at 30 June2 1 432.8 140.2 1 419.0 2 267.3 2 824.7 3 284.9
Infrastructure Investment 1 073.4 642.4 828.5 982.0 1 047.9 988.8

Notes:

  1. Net Debt represents Borrowings plus Lease liabilities, less the sum of Cash and deposits and Investments. This measure incorporates the impact of recognising Lease liabilities on the Balance Sheet.
  2. GFS Net Debt represents Borrowings less the sum of Cash and deposits and Investments. This is equivalent to Net Debt based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Government Finance Statistics reporting framework, and excludes the impact of Lease liabilities.

Net Operating Balance

The Net Operating Balance is estimated to be in deficit by $689.8 million in 2021‑22, returning to a surplus of $39.4 million in 2023‑24 and increasing to a surplus of $126.8 million by 2024‑25.

Chart 1.1 highlights the change in the Net Operating Balance that has occurred since 2015‑16 and the current projections for the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates.

Chart 1.1:         Net Operating Balance, 2015‑16 to 2024‑251

Note:

  1. The Net Operating Balance Actual for 2016‑17 is presented net of the one‑off Australian Government payment of $730 million related to the Mersey Community Hospital. The Net Operating Balance including this payment was $804 million.

The receipt of Australian Government funding for capital programs, particularly one‑off major projects, has the effect of improving the Net Operating Balance outcome. Given the nature of the Net Operating Balance measure, it reflects the receipt of revenue from the Australian Government for infrastructure purposes but does not factor in the expenditure of these funds on infrastructure projects.

The Underlying Net Operating Balance has, therefore, been used for a number of years as a measure that removes the impact of one‑off Australian Government funding for specific capital projects.

Table 1.2 below provides information on the Underlying Net Operating Balance.

Table 1.2:         Underlying Net Operating Balance, 2020‑21 to 2024‑25
2020‑21 2021‑22 2022‑23 2023‑24 2024‑25
Preliminary Forward Forward Forward
Outcome Budget Estimate Estimate Estimate
$m $m $m $m $m
Net Operating Balance (411.5) (689.8) (86.4) 39.4 126.8
Less One‑off Australian Government funding
Bridgewater Bridge (5.3) (18.0) (117.0) (133.8) (154.8)
Cascade Female Factory (2.0) …. …. …. ….
Cradle Mountain Experience …. …. …. (5.7) (5.3)
COVID‑19 Infrastructure Stimulus Funding (18.5) (9.9) …. (3.2) ….
COVID‑19 National and World Heritage Projects (0.2) (3.4) (1.5) …. ….
National Water Infrastructure Development Fund …. (20.0) (20.0) (20.0) (20.0)
Redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital (0.4) (5.0) …. …. ….
Revitalising TAFE Campuses Across Australia (2.0) (5.0) …. …. ….
Roads and Rail Funding (Nation Building) (87.7) (78.9) (74.5) (51.4) (28.6)
Roads of Strategic Importance (40.9) (33.4) (93.2) (76.5) (124.5)
Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (7.0) …. …. …. ….
Tasman Bridge Upgrade …. …. (5.0) …. (5.0)
Urban Congestion Fund (0.5) (3.7) (9.5) (12.0) (12.2)
(164.5) (177.3) (320.7) (302.6) (350.3)
Underlying Net Operating Balance (576.0) (867.1) (407.1) (263.2) (223.5)

Fiscal Balance

A Fiscal Balance deficit of $1 041.2 million is estimated for 2021‑22 with the outcome improving over the Forward Estimates to an estimated deficit of $315.4 million in 2024‑25.

Chart 1.2 illustrates the Fiscal Balance since 2015‑16.

Chart 1.2:         Fiscal Balance, 2015‑16 to 2024‑251

Note:

  1. The Fiscal Balance for 2016‑17 is presented net of the one‑off Australian Government payment of $730 million for the Mersey Community Hospital for presentation purposes. The Fiscal Balance including this payment was $677 million.

Net Debt

Net Debt represents Borrowings and Lease liabilities less the sum of Cash and deposits and Investments. A reference to ‘negative’ Net Debt means that Cash and deposits and Investments exceeds Borrowings. This can also be referred to as Net Cash and Investments.

It is estimated that General Government Net Debt will be $1 704.4 million as at 30 June 2022. General Government Net Debt is estimated to be $3 478.6 million as at 30 June 2025. This represents an improvement to the Net Debt profile forecast last year in the 2020‑21 Budget, primarily as a result of material improvements in forecast revenue.

A major contributing factor to the increase in General Government Net Debt over the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates has been the Government’s response and recovery measures to support the community and the economy from the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The response includes significant expenditure measures, revenue forgone through Government decisions on taxation and the Government’s commitment to a strong pipeline of infrastructure investment to drive economic growth.

When considered on a comparative basis with the Net Debt position of other jurisdictions and in the context of the current low interest rate environment, which is expected to remain for the medium‑term, this level of Net Debt is considered to be manageable.

Chart 1.3 illustrates GFS Net Debt since 2016.

Chart 1.3:         GFS Net Debt, 2016 to 20251

Note:

  1. This chart presents information on a GFS Net Debt basis. GFS Net Debt reflects the methodology that is applied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics under its Government Finance Statistics reporting framework. The presentation of this chart on a GFS Net Debt basis enables a consistent and comparable time series to be presented to facilitate an understanding of changes in Net Debt over an extended period of time. Information on GFS Net Debt and the AASB 16 Leases based Net Debt calculation (applicable from 1 July 2019) is provided throughout this Budget Paper.

Sources of Revenue

In 2021‑22, General Government Sector total revenue is estimated to be $7 257.5 million.

Chart 1.4 provides information on the major sources of General Government Sector Revenue in 2021‑22.

Chapter 5 of this Budget Paper provides a detailed explanation of the major revenue items included in the 2021‑22 Budget and over the Forward Estimates.

Chart 1.4:         Sources of General Government Revenue, 2021‑22

Purposes of Expenditure

In 2021‑22, General Government Sector total expenditure is estimated to be $7 947.2 million.

Chart 1.5 provides information on the major purposes of General Government Sector Expenditure in 2021‑22. This Chart reflects the detailed information provided in Table A1.16 in appendix 1 of this Budget Paper.

Chapter 4 of this Budget Paper provides information on expenditure variations included in the 2021‑22 Budget and over the Forward Estimates.

Chart 1.5:         General Government Expenses by Purpose, 2021‑22

Agency Infrastructure Investment

Infrastructure investment delivered through the General Government Sector exceeds $3.8 billion over the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates.

This includes additional funding of almost $600 million in election commitment infrastructure investment. Key projects include: $110 million for the Royal Hobart Hospital Redevelopment ‑ Expanded Stage 2; $80 million for the Launceston General Hospital ‑ Mental Health Precinct; and $39.7 million for four major school redevelopments at Exeter High School, Cambridge Primary School, Montello Primary School, and Lauderdale Primary School. In addition, $500 million has been committed to Stage 2 of the Launceston General Hospital Redevelopment, commencing in 2025‑26.

Chart 1.6 provides a breakdown of the 2021‑22 agency infrastructure expenditure by ABS classification. Chapter 6 of this Budget Paper provides information on the Government’s investment in agency infrastructure over the 2021‑22 Budget and Forward Estimates.

Chart 1.6:         2021‑22 Infrastructure Investment by ABS Classification

Current Budget Risks and Sensitivities

Impact of the COVID‑19 Pandemic

The ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic and the associated responses from the Australian and Tasmanian governments, create greater uncertainty than is usually the case in relation to the fiscal and economic information presented in the 2021‑22 Budget Papers. This uncertainty exists in terms of both potential negative and positive impacts on the information presented.

The impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the Tasmanian economy and the Budget will continue to be closely monitored by the Government.

Goods and Services Tax Revenue

There remains a high degree of uncertainty in relation to the impact of recent COVID‑19 outbreaks in other Australian jurisdictions on GST receipts.

GST revenue collections are highly sensitive to changes in national consumer spending patterns.

Tasmania’s GST revenue forecasts are heavily reliant on the Australian Government forecasts of the GST pool published in the Australian Government 2021‑22 Budget in May 2021. Since this time a number of jurisdictions have reintroduced public health measures in response to COVID‑19 outbreaks.

In the medium term, there continues to be ongoing uncertainty related to Tasmania’s relativity, which is calculated annually by the Commonwealth Grants Commission, and is currently at historically high levels.

State Taxation

State taxation revenue estimates are sensitive to changes in a range of economic parameters, such as employment, wages growth and inflation, as well as prevailing economic conditions in Tasmania more generally.

Conveyance Duty in particular is subject to a range of factors, including population growth, housing supply and interest rates which can result in significant volatility from year to year.

The State Taxation revenue outlook across the Budget and Forward Estimates is positive, but risks associated with the pandemic remain.

Government Businesses

Government business are subject to a wide range of influences that can significantly impact the level of returns to the Government, both positively and negatively. These include market conditions, infrastructure investment requirements and the implementation of major reform programs. Such influences may impact the Budget through increased costs or reduced returns from government businesses, and may also necessitate changes to businesses’ capital structure requirements.

Significant Energy Projects

The State is continuing to progress a number of significant energy projects including Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link. Work is currently focused on taking the projects to a Final Investment Decision and is being progressed by the State‑owned electricity businesses. Both of these projects will require significant investment if they proceed and, depending on the project finance model(s) chosen, may result in significant new assets and liabilities being recognised on the Total State Sector Balance Sheet, although the majority of the investment will fall outside the Forward Estimates period.

Funding Requirements beyond the Forward Estimates

Expenditure estimates presented in this Budget Paper are based on a Budget and Forward Estimates period of four years. As such, expenditure levels beyond this period are not identified. As is established practice, such impacts are taken into account in the ongoing development and management of the Budget.

General Agency Cost Pressures

While all agencies are expected to deliver services within their allocated Budget and Forward Estimates, there continues to be a range of pressures which agencies need to manage, including staffing levels, general increases in the cost of inputs and increasing demand for services. These issues will require ongoing management and review.

Health Expenditure

Improving health services in Tasmania is one of the Government’s highest priorities and this is reflected in the significant level of additional funding that the Government committed to health services during the 2021 Election and the provision of significant additional funding to meet increased demand. Notwithstanding the provision of this additional funding, the delivery of health services to the Tasmanian community continues to present a significant budget challenge (as it is across all Australian jurisdictions), and this has been exacerbated by the uncertainty associated with the COVID‑19 pandemic. The Government is continuing to monitor health demand and service requirements.

The Australian Government’s funding contribution to Health Services is funded under the National Health Reform Agreement. However, growth in Australian Government funding to the states and territories is capped at 6.5 per cent per year. There remains an underlying risk to the Budget and Forward Estimates that additional State funding provided to meet the demand for health services in Tasmania may grow at a faster rate than growth in the Australian Government’s capped funding contribution.

Support for Business and the Economy

The Government works closely with the private sector and local government to support investment and employment across Tasmania. This may result in the allocation of additional funding, the provision of financial guarantees or the forgoing of revenue over the Budget and Forward Estimates. In some instances, there have been offers of support made by the Government to business that may be taken up, if certain conditions are satisfied at a later date.

In response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Government has supported Tasmanian businesses through the provision of loan programs to support businesses to invest to diversify and to remain viable. The increased size of the Government’s loan portfolio results in an associated increase in credit risk.

Natural Disaster Costs and Recovery Arrangements

The 2021‑22 Budget includes funding as a central provision for bushfire emergency costs. As has been the case in the past, additional funding to meet bushfire‑related costs will be considered on a year‑by‑year basis, depending upon funding requirements.

Under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements the State is able to seek reimbursement from the Australian Government for a portion of the costs incurred by the State and local government in the event of natural disasters. Assumptions have been required to be made in relation to the level of future funds to be received from the Australian Government relating to previous disasters and the timing of the receipt of those funds. Any variation from these assumptions will result in an impact on the current Budget estimates.

Variability of Infrastructure Expenditure

The Government is continuing its strong focus on the development of next generation infrastructure in the 2021‑22 Budget. Actual infrastructure expenditure varies considerably year‑on‑year due to a range of factors, with the resulting variance potentially creating a material impact on the key fiscal measures in the Budget. This risk is currently exacerbated by the ongoing impact of COVID‑19 pandemic and associated supply constraints. 

Claims against the State by Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

The Government has committed $70 million over ten years to meet compensation and administration costs under the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. There is a risk that additional costs may be incurred, including for matters that are not covered under the scheme.

Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings

The Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s responses to child sexual abuse in institutional settings was established by Order of the Governor on 15 March 2021. It is required to submit its final report and recommendations no later than 31 August 2022. The Commission is a separate entity to the Department of Justice, and is funded in the 2021‑22 Budget as a separate output of the Department.

Actual costs incurred in responding to requests by the Commission and other costs associated with the Inquiry may differ from the Budget. Future funding requirements will continue to be reviewed. Any future costs associated with recommendations of the Commission will be considered when the final report is submitted to the Government.

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

There will be costs for jurisdictions from participation in the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Expected costs are associated with hearings that relate to Tasmania and the legal and administrative support including the cost of providing information and evidence to the Royal Commission by government agencies. In addition to these indirect costs, it is likely there will be costs associated with any Tasmanian Government response to the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations.

2021‑22 Budget Presentational Issues

The 2021‑22 Budget has been developed in an environment that reflects the ongoing uncertainty relating to the COVID‑19 pandemic.  This, together with the timing of the tabling of the Budget, results in a number of presentational changes that have been made, and related issues as highlighted below.

Preliminary Outcomes

Given the timing of the 2021‑22 Budget, the most recent information published for the 2020‑21 financial year is the 2020‑21 Preliminary Outcomes Report. As such, the 2020‑21 Preliminary Outcomes are included in relevant financial tables throughout this Budget Paper.

As stated in the 2020‑21 Preliminary Outcomes Report, the 2020‑21 actual results are preliminary in nature and are based on information provided by Government entities to Treasury in early July 2021. These results may vary from the audited actual results published in the 2020‑21 Treasurer’s Annual Financial Report and agency annual reports.

Economic Estimates and Forecasts

This Budget Paper includes Treasury’s estimates for key Tasmanian economic indicators for the 2020‑21 financial year, forecasts for 2021‑22 and 2022‑23 and projections for 2023‑24 and 2024‑25.

The estimates and forecasts included in this chapter use a number of assumptions and judgements that are based on information available at the time of preparation and are inherently uncertain and subject to change, particularly in the current environment.

Presentation of COVID‑19 Response and Recovery Initiatives and Costs

The presentation, allocation and treatment of COVID‑19 response and recovery costs has continued to develop since the publication of the 2020‑21 Budget. The 2021‑22 Budget also includes an increased Treasurer’s Reserve to provide capacity to manage the increased likelihood of uncertain and unforeseen costs.

Identifiable commitments for COVID‑19 response and recovery activities have been directly appropriated to the relevant entity for implementation as part of their overall service delivery. All 2021 election commitments, some of which include COVID‑19 response and recovery components, have also been directly appropriated. As new or unforeseen costs emerge or become quantifiable during 2021‑22, the capacity within the Treasurer’s Reserve will be utilised to meet those costs.

Appendix 1.1   State and Territory Credit Ratings

The current credit ratings and outlook for long‑term domestic debt of the states and the territories by the rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P), are detailed in Table 1.3.

Table 1.3:         Government Ratings
Moody’s S&P
Tasmania Aa2 (Stable) AA+ (Stable)
New South Wales Aaa (Stable) AA+ (Stable)
Victoria Aa1 (Negative) AA (Stable)
Queensland Aa1 (Stable) AA+ (Stable)
South Australia Aa1 (Stable) AA+ (Negative)
Western Australia Aa1 (Stable) AA+ (Stable)
Northern Territory Aa3 (Stable) na
Australian Capital Territory na AAA (Negative)

See the full Tasmanian Budget papers here.


Media release – Peter Gutwein, Premier, 26 August 2021

Message from the Premier

We are delivering our plan to secure Tasmania’s future.

While it is a time of uncertainty, it is also a time of opportunity. Our economy is strong, and our businesses and people are confident.

That is why the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget builds on the strong foundations this Government has established over the past seven years.

We will invest a record $10.7 billion into our health system, and a record $8 billion in education, skills and training to enable Tasmanians to get the jobs that will support and drive our economy forward.

We’re helping more Tasmanians into homes with a record $615 million into social and affordable housing, and homelessness initiatives to help more Tasmanians in need.
It includes an ambitious $5.7 billion infrastructure program to support jobs, and build better, safer and more connected communities.

The Tasmanian Budget invests in community facilities and better roads, and we’re delivering savings on land tax, together with stamp duty relief to put more money back in the pockets of Tasmanians.

The 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget delivers on every commitment we made to the Tasmanian people during the election.

More state government media releases in relation to the budget can be found here.


TASMANIAN TIMES: Responses to 2021-22 State Budget.