There is no doubt Tasmania is a much better place since the election of the majority Liberal Government in 2014.
Under the disastrous Labor-Green Government, 10,000 Tasmanians lost their jobs, the unemployment rate hit 8.6 per cent, and the State was plunged into recession.
Confidence was low, two out of every three businesses thought the Government was working against them, and people were leaving the State in droves.
It took the election of a majority Liberal Government in 2014 to turn things around, and we have delivered on our commitment to provide stable, majority Government.
After eight years in office, Tasmania is the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family with an abundance of opportunities available for people, businesses and investors to grasp.
Amongst the key achievements we have delivered since 2014 are:
- turning our economy into the number-one performing in the country according to Commsec, for the last eight quarters in a row;
- creating 24,500 jobs, with the unemployment rate at an unprecedented 3.8 per cent;
- extending every Government school to years 11 and 12, giving Tasmanian school kids a better chance at finishing school and joining the workforce;
- investing record amounts into our education system, with significant capital investment in schools and employing more teachers, teacher assistants and support staff across the State;
- delivering Tasmania's first ever comprehensive, long-term, whole of government Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy;
- delivering the $689 million Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment, after Labor failed to lay a single brick in their 16 years in office;
- growing our health budget to $9.8 billion, a 70 per cent increase since the last Labor-Green budget;
- employing more than 1,500 additional FTE health professionals;
- Delivering two brand new helipads at the Mersey and North West Regional Hospitals to connect these two facilities directly to the aeromedical service;
- recruiting 308 additional police officers, reversing the cuts made under Labor and the Greens;
- investing an additional $60 million into two whole-of-government family and sexual violence plans, with the third under development;
- creating history by hosting our first ever Ashes test match, along with two AFL finals;
- returning a Tasmanian team to the National Basketball League for the first time in 26 years;
- upgrading MyState Bank Arena into a world class entertainment and sporting facility;
- Investing nearly $5 billion into infrastructure, with billions more committed over the Budget and forward estimates;
- continuing to deliver the $565 million Midland Highway Safety Upgrade, which is now in its final stages of completion;
- delivering a new Bridgewater Bridge, with planning approvals now underway;
- purchasing two new Spirit of Tasmania ships due in 2023 and 2024;
- delivering nearly 2000 new long-term homes and building lots since 2014;
- committing to a new 10 year plan to supply 10,000 affordable and social houses by 2032;
- beginning the redevelopment of the Launceston General Hospital, including a new women’s and children’s ward;
- implementing the popular Derwent Ferry Service, which has been a raging success with more than 30,000 passengers in first three months;
- turning Tasmania into a national powerhouse in renewable energy, with net zero emissions for six of the past seven years, legislating to be at 200 per cent renewable by 2040;
- establishing a far-reaching Commission of Inquiry to ensure the safety of our children and young people;
- providing the highest level of COVID-19 support for businesses, per capita, of any jurisdiction in the country;
- supporting our cultural and creative industries through the COVID-19 pandemic with over $12 million in new and ongoing support measures since March 2020;
- making Tasmania the tourism capital of the world, including the Tassie Holiday Voucher program;
- leading the nation in delivering vital irrigation infrastructure, with 15 of the last 19 irrigation schemes completed across the country here in Tasmania;
- Reforming and investing even more in TasTAFE so it can continue to meet the needs of the next generation of jobseekers;
- implementing a range of important reforms to keep Tasmanians safe and bring offenders to justice, despite opposition from Labor; and
- investing almost $42 million to future proof our world-renowned national parks and reserves, through our Parks Powering Regional Economies policy.
We have also come through a global pandemic as one of the safest places in the world, and as we continue to transition to live with COVID-19 in our community, we want to continue this momentum for years to come.
That’s why the State of the State laid out a comprehensive, aspirational vision to secure Tasmania’s future and provide the services Tasmanians deserve in health, education, housing, and vital community services and facilities.
By contrast, after eight years in opposition Labor continues to be wracked by infighting, with their star recruit Bastian Seidel quitting because of the party’s “toxic" environment, and their ex-president continuing his legal threats against the current leader Rebecca White.
We won’t be distracted by Labor’s tired negativity. We have turned Tasmania around since coming to office, and we will continue the momentum as we deliver our plan to secure Tasmania’s future.