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27.03.07 7:01 am5 comments
A set of 90 charts comparing Tasmania with other States and with the mainland or Australia as a whole on a variety of economic and social indicators.
Download here: Tasmania_charts.pdf
I think we are fortunate to have such analyses made available to us. The recent downturn in the educational indices should be of some concern - what is the Dept Education doing to improve retention rates. But business investment seems up. On the whole, we are still poorer and less educated than our mainland cousins - but are we happier? More content? Can this be assessed in some way? I suspect that there is a sizeable subpopulation of Tasmanians happy to be living on less. Also, we dont have the major primary, secondary and tertiary industries that exist in many other States, so this will put a drag on ‘success’ on economic measures.
I would be interested in data such as prescription rates for anti-depressants, homeless/shelter rates, crime rates, mortgage foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. This may give a better snapshot of whether we are doing well as an Isalnd society. I recall there was something called tasmania together that was supposed to be looking at this sort of stuff? Seems Saul Eslake has done half the job for them already.
This is cool, useful info. Saul, who puts these charts together and what are the sources ?
‘Tomas’, thanks for your suggestions for some additional indicators to include in this chart set. Homelessness statistics are produced as part of the Census; data from the 2006 Census should be gradually released from later this year onwards. The most recent Grants Commission report on State shares of GST revenue includes a range of social indicators including the number of prisoners and court appearances per 1,000 of population. It may be that the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publishes a State-by-State breakdown of prescription rates and other health indicators; when I get a moment I’ll check. Bankruptcy statistics by State are readily available and I’ll include them next time I update this chart set.
‘BPWN’, thanks for your comments. I put these charts together myself, largely from data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Where I’ve relied on other sources, I’ve noted them by way of an asterisk on the chart in question.
In the context of falling employment growth in Tasmania that same year, we have:
“.. an increase in overall exports from Tasmania of more than $220 million on 2004-2005 figures.
Japan is Tasmania’s largest export market with over $550 million in exports [huge rise in woodchip exports there]. Hong Kong remains Tasmania’s second largest export market followed by Korea and China.
Big rise in aluminium and zinc exports to Hong Kong. China, iron-ore and zinc and woodchip increase. Korea, iron-ore, alumunium and zinc increase.
Obviously we can’t count on mining and woodchips for employment. (Remember the Federal Government’s ‘2020 Plantation Vision’? Should be rolling in jobs by now.)
Notably Tassie’s food exports have declined markedly.
We can also see that high labour productivity in the woodchip and mining industries results in fewer jobs for Tasmania. But employment in dangerous and uninspiring work should not be our aim. We simply need to find a way to devise methods of production that (not necessarily in this order of priority) a. distribute real incomes, b. cease drawing upon non-renewable materials, c. refrain from damaging the environment and d. perpetuating a form of feudalism.
Sorry to dissappoint you Tomas - but if you follow Saul’s suggestion and seek the relevant AIHW reports you will see that Tasmania has the highest per capita anti-depressant and psychoactive drug prescription rate in the country. You may also recall the ABS data reported in the Mercury in December which shows Tasmania has the second highest rate of suicide (behind the NT). Yes we have a nice place to live (at the moment) but it’s hard to be positive when one is surrounded by such blatant corruption, cronyism and destruction.
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