Op-Ed Examiner

Release Date: 1/03/2018
Almost every day, I am asked … what can we do to make things easier for business in Tasmania?

The reasons for this are varied and complex, but the simple truths are that if we can make day to day business dealings easier, more business – large and small – will make more money and employ more people with those profits.

Following the State election, I have thought about what the returned Liberal Government needs to concentrate on for the next four years.

Truth is, the Liberals made a lot of election promises and the TCCI will work hard to ensure that they stick to those promises.

But there are several areas of industry and overall investment strategy and policy that need to be completed.

I can think of five immediate issues that require either completion or fixing.

  1. Finalise planning reform
We need one scheme with uniform administration.

The frustration of investors, developers and even home owners continues to be a constant in my world.

The only way that this is going to work is to take planning away from local government and create a central body to manage planning Statewide.

Much of the planning issues relate to how a local government interprets the scheme - or a council backing down to due to a loud minority.

We need good development, sustainable development and development that respects our heritage values – both built and environmental.

But we also need development.

A Statewide planning scheme, overseen by something like the Tasmanian Planning Commission, could also go a long way to begin to solve the housing crisis Statewide.

  1. A strategic and costed infrastructure plan for Tasmania
This critical body of work would link to the population strategy and transport strategy to step out the investments needed over the next decade or so.

I know that my colleague Dr Vicki Gardiner at Engineers Australia has made this very point for several years now.

We need to plan for the next 5, 10 and 20 years … outside the election cycle.

This would include roads, public transport, education and energy infrastructure – to name just four areas.

  1. Tourism moving from a pricing to yielding strategy.
We don’t necessarily want or need millions more tourists in Tasmania.

We want to maintain and protect the things that make us special and charge accordingly for the privilege of visiting.

This must be based on our clean and unique brand.

  1. Energy Policy
We must use our built infrastructure, funded by generations of Tasmanians, to offer the cheapest power in the nation.

It must be more cost effective to purchase energy in our state than anywhere else in the nation.

  1. Finalisation of TasWater ownership
There is a mandate now for this important reform. A more agile and customer focussed Taswater is a must for business.

Contact: TCCI Chief Executive Michael Bailey – 0437 322 338 

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