Tasmania to unveil infrastructure blitz

Ethan James

Tasmania is bringing forward billions of dollars of infrastructure spending to stimulate its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan, which has been flagged for several weeks, will be detailed by the state government on Thursday.

Premier Peter Gutwein on Wednesday revealed $3.1 billion will be spent on housing, roads, irrigation and other infrastructure over the next two years.

The projects are part of a $3.7 billion infrastructure spend announced last year which was originally planned across four years.

"This will be a construction blitz and it will be far-reaching," Mr Gutwein said.

"These are challenging times but now is not the time to sit idle."

According to updated figures from treasury, Tasmania's gross state product will decline by 1.75 per cent in 2019-20 after last year's budget predicted three per cent growth.

The budget was on track for a slim $11 million surplus, but is now expected to be $716 million in the red.

The state has announced a further lifting of restrictions, having not recorded any coronavirus cases in 18 days.

Just three cases remain active as of Wednesday afternoon, two of which are in hospital.

From this week, learner drivers will be able to take practical P-plate tests in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.

The recreational scallop season will begin on Friday afternoon and run until the end of November after it was postponed at Easter to restrict travel to coastal communities.

Tasmanians are preparing to shift to stage two of restrictions on Friday at 3pm, with pubs to open for drinks and camping trips, and overnight stays in accommodation allowed.