AC­TION PLAN

SOME OF THE BEST IDEAS FROM OUR TWO-WEEK SE­RIES

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS -

15 TASSIE’S AFL TEAM

WHEN we get our Tas­ma­nian AFL team we must be ready for it, with the tal­ent path­ways and the fa­cil­i­ties. A 2030 team packed with im­ports won’t feel the same as a pack of leap­ing lo­cal leg­ends, even if a fa­mous footy son like the next Jack Riewoldt were to lead the team. Let’s make our path­way pro­grams for ju­nior tal­ent the league’s finest. Re­gard­ing sta­dium lo­ca­tion, parochial stoushes must end. For now, what can we learn from Gee­long, with its bar-set­ting Kar­dinia Park re­fur­bish­ment? That city has a pop­u­la­tion of 253,269 and its own suc­cess­ful fran­chise.

14 JOB-READY GRAD­U­ATES

THE onus is on both the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia and TasTAFE to pro­duce more grad­u­ates whose skills meet ac­tual Tas­ma­nian work­place de­mands. As UTAS em­braces its iden­tity as a place-based in­sti­tu­tion of higher learn­ing, it must walk the walk by re­spond­ing to its sur­round­ings ev­ery day. TasTAFE needs fur­ther course re­view to en­sure ev­ery cer­tifi­cate’s cur­ricu­lum is con­tem­po­rary. A fruit­ful ex­change is un­der­way be­tween the in­sti­tu­tions with recog­ni­tion that greater in­te­gra­tion be­tween vo­ca­tional and uni ed­u­ca­tion is one path to more job-ready grad­u­ates.

1 BRING OUR KIDS BACK

LET’s make Tas­ma­nia ir­re­sistible to the young adults who are our best in­vest­ment in the fu­ture. The de­mo­graphic out­look is bleak for Tas­ma­nia with­out them — we must splash cash on this mis­sion. Let’s kick off with a Ten Pound Pom-style spon­sor­ship pro­gram to bring our kids home by air or sea to give is­land liv­ing a go in their 20s. With Ho­bart hum­ming and the econ­omy grow­ing, it’s time to con­vince more of our best and bright­est they don’t need to leave the state for univer­sity — a tra­di­tional step­ping stone for aban­don­ing Tas­ma­nia for decades.

13 100 PER CENT LIT­ER­ACY

THE Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment’s 2019-2022 Lit­er­acy Frame­work ap­pears to align well with the state’s 100 per cent lit­er­acy goal em­braced by com­mu­nity lead­ers last year. Next step? We need more pilot pro­grams, start­ing in 2020, to demon­strate the ben­e­fits of spe­cialised lit­er­acy sup­port for learn­ers who take longer to learn to de­code writ­ten lan­guage. An­other pos­i­tive next step would be the in­tro­duc­tion of the Year 1 phon­ics screen­ing test now used in South Aus­tralia. Dig­i­tal lit­er­acy in col­lege years and among vo­ca­tional learn­ers needs at­ten­tion.

2 UR­BAN NOT SUB­UR­BAN

FIND some more flats, fast. We need more res­i­den­tial apart­ments around the Ho­bart CBD and in­ner suburbs. De­mo­graphic re­search com­mis­sioned for the Fu­ture Tas­ma­nia se­ries shows we face crunch time in 2030 with our age­ing pop­u­la­tion un­less we at­tract many more 20-40 year olds to live in the state. Many will pre­fer this ur­ban life­style, as will many down­siz­ers. Let’s kick off with an in­cen­tive or re­prieve scheme for land­lords to con­vert their shop­top spa­ces into funky flats for young folk. They don’t all want to live in outer sub­ur­bia.

12 SHARE THE PROS­PER­ITY

TAS­MA­NIA’s econ­omy is grow­ing, but more than 60 per cent of re­spon­dents to our Fu­ture Tas­ma­nia sur­vey say they are feel­ing no per­sonal ben­e­fit. Let’s keep rolling out tar­geted train­ing for ar­eas of job growth, en­sur­ing legacy in­dus­try work­ers reskill for to­day’s jobs; chip­ping away at adult lit­er­acy with in­dus­try-part­nered pro­grams; bet­ter den­tal care; and bet­ter pub­lic trans­port sys­tems. Greater pros­per­ity for some can lead to greater re­treat and with­drawal by oth­ers who feel shut out. Let’s also get on top of pub­lic and so­cial hous­ing.

3 LIGHT RAIL OR TRAMS

THE Mer­cury’s Fu­ture Tas­ma­nia sur­vey of 2500 re­spon­dents sug­gested 80 per cent of us think a north­ern suburbs light rail should be a pri­or­ity project for Ho­bart. The next step is to com­mit or re­ject the ex­ist­ing heavy rail cor­ri­dor as the best route for it. Would we be bet­ter off to in­stalling a light rail or tram line ini­tially run­ning from Fed­eral Street in North Ho­bart to the wa­ter­front, po­ten­tially ex­tend­ing along New Town Rd and fur­ther north? It would cer­tainly help take cars out the city, which is some­thing else we need to do. The time for talk is over.

11 SIS­TERLY AD­VICE

LET’S ini­ti­ate a mini OECD-style bi­en­nial con­fer­ence be­tween like­minded cities and states. New­found­land, Nova Sco­tia, NZ South Is­land and Ice­land, we’re look­ing at you. This rel­a­tively low­cost con­cept is likely to be a great fo­rum for shar­ing solutions to com­mon chal­lenges. Would have to bet­ter though than just an­other ex­cuse for our MPs to go on a jun­ket. De­sir­able out­comes would re­sem­ble the best in­sights gleaned by Tassie’s Churchill Fel­lows, who travel over­seas to bring home knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence to ben­e­fit their com­mu­nity.

4 IT’S A FERRY GOOD IDEA

THIS year’s State Bud­get in­cluded $500,000 an­nu­ally to Metro over the next three years to es­tab­lish a River Der­went ferry ser­vice be­tween Sul­li­van Cove and Bel­lerive, but fund­ing needs to be greatly in­creased to of­fer a com­pre­hen­sive daily timetable. Strong com­mu­nity sup­port — 72 per cent in the Mer­cury Fu­ture Tas­ma­nia sur­vey — is there. So why the ag­o­nis­ing goslow, par­tic­u­larly when lo­cal ferry builder In­cat has of­fered to sup­ply a fleet if the State Gov­ern­ment funds the ter­mi­nals? Let’s not drown this rare op­por­tu­nity to trans­form how we view our river.

10 MIS­SION RE­NEWAL

AS NSW burns and our own state pre­pares for what could be a tough fire sea­son, our pol­i­cy­mak­ers need to be more pre­pared to lis­ten to our kids and their wor­ries about cli­mate change. Lis­ten to the ad­vice of our sci­en­tists on where we should start. Choose re­new­able en­ergy sources wher­ever pos­si­ble, limit your house­hold waste, use your pur­chas­ing power wisely; and most of all de­mand ac­tion from pol­icy mak­ers and busi­ness. Tas­ma­nia alone can’t save the world, but with our green cre­den­tials al­ready firmly in place we can be a cli­mate leader.

5 PLAN­NING RE­FORM

TAS­MA­NIA, and es­pe­cially Ho­bart, needs more State Gov­ern­ment fund­ing to ex­pe­dite plan­ning sys­tem re­form at this cru­cial time of growth. We need to build a ro­bust plan­ning sys­tem that has three solid com­po­nents rather than fo­cus­ing heav­ily in the reg­u­la­tory space. A strong strate­gic plan­ning process and the poli­cies that in­form it are not op­tional at this time. We need a clear plan­ning vi­sion and the frame­work to shepherd it into ac­tion. Mean­while, we need cer­tainty over height lim­its in our cap­i­tal city. The dilly-dal­ly­ing is do­ing noth­ing for live­abil­ity.

9 ELEC­TRIC FU­TURE

WE MAY be lead­ing the world in head­ing to­wards zero-car­bon elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion in Tas­ma­nia, but car­bon pol­lu­tion from trans­port and land use — in­clud­ing agri­cul­ture and forestry — de­mand more pol­icy at­ten­tion. An in­te­grated ap­proach would ce­ment Tas­ma­nia as an au­then­tic re­new­ables world-beater. Let’s sup­port the pumped-hy­dro Bat­tery of the Na­tion stor­age ini­tia­tive (pro­vid­ing land-use im­pacts are min­i­mal) and let’s back a ro­bust de­cen­tralised sys­tem in­te­grat­ing bat­tery stor­age from elec­tric ve­hi­cles and so­lar­pow­ered house­holds.

6 HO­BART TO THE WORLD

DI­RECT in­ter­na­tional flights from Ho­bart may be pos­si­ble as early as late next year to places like Auck­land, Den­pasar and Sin­ga­pore — with the $1.6 bil­lion Ho­bart City Deal out­lin­ing bold ex­pan­sion plans to fa­cil­i­tate the ex­pan­sion. Mer­cury-com­mis­sioned pro­jec­tions from de­mo­graphic fu­tur­ist Bernard Salt em­pha­sise the im­por­tance of Tassie assert­ing its sovereignt­y by fo­cus­ing on di­rect in­ter­na­tional flights rather than us­ing Mel­bourne as a gate­way. Next step? Let’s put max­i­mum leg­work in find­ing ad­di­tional di­rect tourist and ex­port air routes.

7 TOURISM CAU­TION

AL­MOST 70 per cent of those who re­sponded to our Fu­ture Tas­ma­nia sur­vey feel com­fort­able with the rate of tourism growth. Deep com­mu­nity con­cerns ex­ist though over the State Gov­ern­ment’s process to stim­u­late more com­mer­cial developmen­ts in pro­tected na­ture re­serves, par­tic­u­larly the Tas­ma­nian Wilder­ness World Her­itage Area and na­tional parks. When even in­dus­try hard­cores like walk­ing guides protest, some­thing’s up. Let’s fix it. Greater trans­parency and bound­ary re­spect needed yes­ter­day. First step? For the gov­ern­ment to open the books on this.

8 HEALTH HAZ­ARDS

MORE than two-thirds of Tas­ma­ni­ans do not have faith in the state’s health sys­tem. Am­bu­lance ramp­ing and emer­gency depart­ment wait­ing times are a sick sys­tem symp­tom, but what are the root causes? If one is the lack of care for el­derly pa­tients who could oth­er­wise be dis­charged, let’s find solutions at that end. And let’s de­velop an al­ter­na­tive stream and cen­tre for men­tal health emer­gency ad­mis­sions. Tas­ma­nia needs to spend $3236 per head on health to pro­vide ser­vices on par with the na­tional av­er­age. Cur­rently we are spend­ing $631 less than that.

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