Tasmanian State of the State
On 3 March 2009, Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett delivered his first State of the State address to Parliament.
The speech provided an opportunity for the Premier to outline his Government’s policy agenda for the coming legislative year, and to articulate how the Tasmanian Government would implement a positive policy agenda amidst the difficult global economic situation.
The Premier also sought to put the measures into a wider context, claiming the State Government was ten years into a two decade effort to transform Tasmania into a forward-looking and modern state.
Major points of the Premier’s address included:
- A commitment to overhauling the state’s planning process, in order to respond efficiently and effectively to development proposals. The Tasmanian Government will create a new Tasmanian Planning Commission to oversee development proposals by merging existing planning bodies.
- An extension of the $100 million Tasmanian Industry Support Scheme to help businesses with short-term cash flow problems to maintain employment. The scheme will also be expanded to offer loans to farmers looking to build on- farm storage or buy and establish irrigation infrastructure.
- A commitment to investment in information technology infrastructure to make Tasmania the most connected state in Australia.
- A proposal for developing transport options to ensure Tasmania minimises carbon emissions by promoting a mixture of road, rail, cycleways and walkways as well as the conversion of the remaining Metro fleet to bio-diesel in the next 12 months.
- An intention to establish a Bay of Fires National Park on and to create 2 500 hectares of foraging habitat for the endangered swift parrot through the planting of blue-gums along cleared coastline over the next 5 years.
- A commitment to working with the Federal Government to expand public housing in Tasmania.
More information on Premier David Bartlett’s State of the State address, and his Government’s agenda for the coming year, can be accessed at http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/hot_topics/government_action_plan_for_2009.