Tassie offers $10 million incentive for silica smelter

The Tasmanian Government has provided a $10 million incentive to attract a silica smelter to the state.

The Examiner reports that yesterday Premier Lara Giddings announced an incentive package which also included a $20 million loan for any potential investors.

Tasmania has wanted a smelter for several years and the likely location of such a plant would be in an existing industrial area such as Bell Bay or Railton.

Giddings said that, while no companies were keen to invest right now, the drop in the Australian dollar will make the prospect more attractive.

“It’s important that we have an attraction investment package out in the market to encourage those who in invest in these areas to look at Tasmania,” she told the ABC.

The Minerals Council spokesman and managing director of Grange Resources Wayne Bould agreed that finding an investor will be difficult but supported the incentive nevertheless.

“Any gift is effectively valuable, however what they really look for is an understanding that they’re likely to get their return in the time frame they believe,” he told the ABC.

Meanwhile, according to The Deloitte Access Economics business outlook report for the December quarter, employment rates in Tasmania are likely to improve but not before further job losses in the short term.

The report said the falling dollar is good news for the state’s manufacturers as well as for the tourism sector.

Image: The Examiner