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Budget 2019-20 - Leadership for Young Tasmanians

28 May 2019

Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

Your Budget paints the bleakest of futures for young Tasmanians. It is a budget devoid of what most young Tasmanians needed to hear from their leader. They have huge anxieties about the future. They want a skills plan for the new industries. They want the seriousness and urgency of the climate emergency acknowledged, money for bushfire protection, action to draw down carbon, and a decisive shift into public and electrified transport. This Budget demonstrates no vision except a dark and spiritless one. How do you explain yourself to young Tasmanians who are looking to you for leadership about their future?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. I regret that she has such a negative view of our state and its prospects and, indeed, refusal to acknowledge the positive things we are doing to give young Tasmanians a brighter future.

There has been no better investment in our state's education system than the reforms that were undertaken by this Government that we are delivering and are helping Tasmanian kids in regional communities to stay engaged in their education longer, achieve the qualifications they need, and to support our most vulnerable younger Tasmanians into a healthy learning environment, which we are doing and which again is supported by this Budget. These are the most significant of reforms which have been opposed by Opposition parties but which are now delivering positive results.

When we talk about intergenerational change for our state, we will look back at this time and future Tasmanians will say thank heavens, finally a government had the vision, foresight, courage and capacity to invest in giving our kids the brightest future they have with an education system that our state deserves, and that is exactly what is happening.

Similarly, regarding TasTAFE, I will hear nothing from opposition parties that dismantled TasTAFE. In fact they abolished it just a few years ago. We are rebuilding TasTAFE and investing more in this Budget, despite what the member who asked the question said.

With respect to climate change, I have outlined in this place, and this parliament has debated it, that during this term of government we have been able to reduce the state to zero net emissions to be totally renewable self-sufficient within a matter of years. That is because of a climate action plan that we are delivering with real action, not just talk.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. The Premier is most definitely misleading the House. The reduction in Tasmania's emissions has nothing to do with his Government and everything to do with the previous government and the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

Madam SPEAKER - I do not believe that is a point of order. Premier, please continue.

Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. The fact is that during the last term of government Tasmania was able to achieve that. We will need to continue the work to ensure that we continue such positive progress. It puts the lie to the claim by Greens members opposite that we are doing nothing when we have a substantive climate action plan, which is funded as we planned for it to be in this Budget as well.

I believe these are not only the important matters to Tasmanians, particularly young people, but also their prospects of a job. There is no better opportunity for a Tasmanian to achieve their potential than to have the opportunity for a job in our state. It was not that long ago, during a Labor-Greens government, when we had more young people needing to leave the state than to stay and pursue opportunities in their home. Now we are seeing a net migration return to the positive for younger people. It has been a long time since we have had that, and seen our population grow.

People from other parts of the country are now looking to Tasmania as an investment destination, the place to visit as a tourist, and also as a place to do business as we lower business costs and create a competitive environment for our businesses to prosper. That is why Tasmanian businesses now have the highest levels of confidence in the country. It does not happen by accident. Nor was it an accident when under the Labor-Greens government they had the lowest levels of confidence in that government. In fact, business thought that most of their policies worked against them.

We have turned things around. There is much more to do. This Budget is all about delivering on our commitments and getting on with the job of ensuring that our economy remains strong so that we can invest more, not only into essential services as this Budget does, but also ensure that young Tasmanians have an even brighter future.