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NAB Report Makes Sobering Reading

22 Jul 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson

The latest NAB State Update for Tasmania makes sobering reading.  It's a grim reality check for the Hodgman Government, which may explain the Treasurer’s silence on its release.

NAB points to the reality of continued structural decline in the Forestry sector, highlighting the futility of the Liberals’ attempt to put Forestry Tasmania on a financially sustainable footing.

The document points to the grim costs of the energy crisis, estimating a cost of at least $560 million and predicting that Hydro Tasmania’s capacity to sell energy to the mainland over future summer periods will be significantly hampered.

The report also shows Tasmanians are spending cautiously, focusing on savings, super and investment and paying down debt.

The vast majority of categories of non-residential building approvals are in decline, well below pre-election levels. The 2013 uplift in housing approvals also appears to be coming to an end reinforcing the need for the government to deliver a long term plan for workforce participation and jobs growth in new and growing sectors such as aged and disability care.

NAB notes that Tasmania’s biggest employers include health, education and public administration, reflecting Tasmania’s reliance on government service delivery and its role in the State’s economy.

The report also highlights the decline in employment in last September, with more than 4000 Tasmanians out of work since then.

Many of the job losses have been in construction and mining, some of the sectors that the Government has ineffectually focused on as it ignores the need for proper workforce planning.

This report is damning of the Liberal Government, and shows they fundamentally do not understand Tasmania and its place in the national and global economy. Despite their focus on declining industries such as forestry and resources, they have failed to provide any economic uplift in these sectors.

What's more, in their neglect of essential services has caused not only significant social harms, they have ignored the significant economic contributions of these sectors to the State and the wellbeing of its people.