You are here

Wellbeing of Young Tasmanians

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Tags: Children and Young People, Young People, Mental Health

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens spokesperson for Children and Young People

Today’s Investing in the Wellbeing of Tasmania’s Children and Young People report released by the Commissioner for Children and Young People paints a mixed picture of our Tasmania’s progress on the wellbeing of young Tasmanians.

There are two important themes that emerge from the report - the need for a cross-partisan, cross-sector approach, and the inadequacy of existing performance measures.

The Commissioner makes the point that to get a true picture of young people’s wellbeing, we need to broaden and deepen the scope of performance indicators.

The premature abolition of the Tasmania Together framework, which included community-wide performance measures, was an unfortunate step in the wrong direction.

There is often political and bureaucratic resistance to more performance measures. However, if we don’t measure these indicators we will be making policy without an accurate and complete understanding of the problem.

We need to move back towards a Wellbeing framework similar to Tasmania Together. Minister Rockliff has an opportunity to do this in his relatively new portfolio of Mental Health.

The Greens support a cross-partisan approach to child wellbeing. We have listened intently to the will of stakeholders over the years, who have consistently called for this approach, and we are always mindful these calls when engaging with these issues.

Unfortunately, the main barrier to cross-partisanship has been the Liberals. Last term, we moved to establish a joint-standing committee to foster collaboration on this issue. Not only was this voted down by the Liberals, but the then Minister’s response was nothing more than a tirade of criticism of the Greens and Labor.

This year the Greens will again attempt to establish a cross-partisan approach on this important issue. We hope the new Minister accepts the Commissioner’s findings, and begins to collaborate with all parties to improve the wellbeing of young Tasmanians.