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Northern Tasmania Needs Real Jobs Focus, Not Liberal Self-Congratulation

30 Jan 2017

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Member for Bass

The Hodgman Government must stop patting itself on the back over the latest series of economic reports and get on with the task of revitalising the northern economy for sustainable, long term jobs.  The expansion of growing sectors in the North and North-West should be a prime government focus.

We welcome today's Southern Marine Shiplift, Haywards and TasPorts' partnership announcement.  

This is the kind of initiative needs to see more of in Northern Tasmania.  It's unfortunate, however, it has taken the Liberals three years to announce one feasibility study of substance.

Today's Deloitte Access Economics report makes clear that much of the economic improvement in this and recent reports is a relative improvement caused by performance decline in other resource dependent States.  This is the view echoed by respected economist, Saul Eslake.

Instead of overcooking report findings, the Liberals need to focus on the two-speed economy and addressing poor economic conditions faced in Northern Tasmania.  Their shallow interpretation is an attempt to mask Northern needs behind the South's successes.

The Northern Tasmanian Stimulus Package is not enough.  While the loan package has been used by councils for many worthwhile projects, they will do little to help the region’s economy in the long term.

The Liberals need to really focus on Northern Tasmania with action, not just lip service. Perhaps the Office of the Coordinator General in the Department of “State Growth” should be more focused on attracting new sustainable industries to the North, and less focused on attracting multi-national hotel developers to Hobart.

Treasurer and local Member, Peter Gutwein, only has to look around to see the people of Launceston, Scottsdale and George Town are doing it tough.  They aren't in the same boat as people from Hobart and Southern Tasmania.

Fixing Northern Tasmania's economic issues isn't as simple as building more car parks and recreation areas.  It's only long term, sustainable jobs that will tackle the issues faced by people doing it tough in the North and North-West today.