Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson
The TCCI 'Tasmania Report 2015' is a welcome, evidence-based contribution to the debate about how we, as a state, improve our economic self sufficiency, effectively invest in the education of young Tasmanians and encourage a culture of innovation.
The Report makes it clear that Tasmania's economic future is underpinned by resolving the crisis in educational outcomes and moving away from bulk commodity exports in to niche industries that leverage off Tasmania's globally unique brand.
The Liberals in government cannot take comfort in the economic approaches of the past of digging it up, chopping it down and shipping it away at a cost to the taxpayer. As the Report's author, Saul Eslake, made clear, economic diversification and innovation hold the jobs of the future.
While the Tasmania Report doesn't take a triple bottom line approach and does not address the environment's contribution to the state's economy and social wellbeing, it does make it clear that Tasmania's natural brand is a foundation of our economic strength in exports and growing tourism numbers.
The jobs of the future require a massive cultural shift in our attitudes as a state towards educational attainment. We owe it to our young people to do everything in our capacity to ensure they finish year 12 and give them every chance to secure a tertiary qualification.
If we continue to fail to do so, the two speed economy evidenced in the Tasmania Report will leave another generation of promising young people unable to reach their full potential and unable to contribute to our growth and prosperity as a state.