THE resource industry will take a leading advisory role in strategies and policy initiatives to revive business growth in Tasmania, with AMMA chief executive Steve Knott recently meeting with Premier Will Hodgman to canvass new efforts toward a stronger economic future for the state.

The meeting followed positive and somewhat surprising news from National Australia Bank’s Monthly Business Survey, which revealed that Tasmania was leading the nation in business confidence.

According to the most recent survey, confidence in Tasmania skyrocketed from 2 points in June 2014 to 21 points in October 2014 – triple the rate of confidence in Queensland, the next highest state.

Mr Knott, well known among Tasmania’s business community as both the chief of Australia’s peak national resource employer group and as a former Tasmanian native himself, said the survey showed the Apple Isle’s future remained promising.

“Falling commodity prices and a difficult business environment have presented significant challenges in recent times for both the resource industry and the wider Tasmanian business community,” he said.

“But Tasmania has surged ahead in business confidence, which is an encouraging sign for growth and investment in our southern-most state.

“Efforts from both the federal and state governments to remove red tape and speed up the approval process for proposed mining development means attracting further resource industry investment and getting new projects off the ground is now a potential reality.

“The future of the state is very much on the rise, and we look forward to continuing our work with AMMA’s Tasmanian members to support the resource industry and its endeavour to create jobs and contribute to the state economy.”

In a recent statement, Premier Hodgman noted that the increase in business confidence had been showing positive return for Tasmania already.

“While it’s early days and there’s still a lot of work to be done, the Tasmanian economy is recovering,” he said.

“In recent times, we’ve seen 3,000 new jobs created and unemployment queues the shortest they’ve been in 18 months.

“The Tasmanian Government has a long-term plan to grow the economy to create jobs and we are supporting businesses through our policies including payroll tax relief, and cutting red and green tape.”

The state government further displayed its support for business growth at the recent TasInvest Conference 2014, profiling a series of Tasmanian investment projects with high potential for growth to 275 international business leaders.

In addition to agriculture and tourism, projects in the resource industry, including mining opportunities in tin, nickel and tungsten, featured prominently in the investment program.

For a copy of the NAB Monthly Business Survey, click here.

For more information about the recent TasInvest 2014 conference and the projects profiled as part of the state’s investment opportunities, click here.