What in this suggestion would attract me (and my children aged 7 - 15) back to Tasmania, bearing in mind that we visit regularly so the island and its people are not an abstraction?
“improve employment and educational opportunities”; yes, for sure. But this is motherhood statement. There are already excellent schools in Tasmania if you are willing and able to pay for them.
“tackle cost of living pressures”; compared to the UK, Tasmania is not expensive, so this is less of a concern in itself, but more related to the need for more worthwhile, stimulating employment opportunities.
“create a more vibrant cultural social and entertainment environment for younger people” Yes, up to a point, but there are natural limits to what can be achieved in a place of this size, particularly compared to big cities. There is already a vibrant cultural scene, certainly far better than when I was growing up in the 80s. And Tasmania’s advantage is its scale and ease of access to events. London has plenty going on, but costs a lot and travel takes time.
What’s missing? As well as any detail about how these outcomes would be achieved, plenty. How about broadband internet - as far as I’m aware this is not really available in Tassy. Any creative business relies on fast, reliable and high volume internet access.
But this is small cheese compared to the need for coherent, capable government that has the capacity to make wise long term decisions.
I walked in protest marches about Lake Pedder in the early 70s, then the Franklin and Lower Gordon in the 80s –so I’ve always experienced a strong sense of concern about the environment. Sadly, there has been too much polarisation in the community and too little enlightened leadership capable of transcending natural differences in values. Despite the rhetoric about clean and green, the Liborial party(s) have been unable to grasp the importance of building a sustainable economy in Tasmania that recognises the reality of climate change. I suppose this is largely down to the small political gene pool, vested economic interests and the federal context of the 90s; e.g. Howard, MIS and so on.
I’m starting to wonder how many times Saul Eslake will be bothered to spell it all out?
JONATHAN MALES, A response to: Exit young Tasmanians
I left Tasmania in 1992 aged 29 and have lived in the UK (mainly London) ever since. So whilst I probably don’t count as a ‘young’ returner anymore, I thought some TT readers might be interested in my perspective on the Liberal ‘plan’.