|Commencement Date||01 August 2011|
This project aims to provide a socio-economic analysis of the likely impacts of the changes within the forestry industry in Tasmania, and will explore and identify a range of opportunities for economic diversification in Tasmania and its communities, as well as suggest options for economic development that build on the state’s existing competitive advantages (such as its natural resource base, the skills of its population, the knowledge held by its universities, firms and government agencies; and national and international market opportunities).
Currently, both the Tasmanian forestry industry and the communities that benefit from it are undergoing a period of transition. Both the Australian and Tasmanian Governments are committed to this transition, following the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement in July 2011. As part of this Agreement, both Governments are seeking to encourage economic diversification in the region, through innovation, value-adding in existing industries, and identifying the potential for new and emerging industries. Given the specific needs, opportunities and challenges of Tasmania, a location-based approach is needed to support communities and an economy in transition.
The AIRC will provide research to assist in the development of location-based options to facilitate greater diversity in the Tasmanian economy, consistent with the Tasmanian Economic Development Plan, and as part of the Regional Location-based Investment Research and Community Facilitation Process. The research will encompass data from a number of sources, such as the Tasmanian Government’s Innovation, Social Inclusion and Skills Strategies, the AIRC’s Tasmanian Innovation Census, and findings from the CRC for Forestry.
The aim of the research is to explore the socio-economic impacts of the current and future status of the forestry industry, and those it directly and indirectly supports. This will be done with consideration of the Tasmanian economy as a whole, and the relationships between industry sectors.
The research will look at regional communities and the economic opportunities available to them through diversification, into industries that are both socially and environmentally sustainable. Among the issues to be considered (for example) are strategies to assist regional communities, and the individuals and business within them, to take advantage of the opportunities available, opportunities for individuals and business to transfer skills or transition to other industries, the indirect impact to other Tasmanian businesses and industries in Tasmania, as well as the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of these changes. Measures to negate barriers to regional diversification will be identified in consultation with stakeholders of those communities. Consultation with community stakeholders will be central to determining the future economic direction of individual regions.
Authorised by the Director, Professor of Innovation, Australian Innovation Research Centre
7 June, 2012