Economic Development | Australian Greens

Economic Development

Tasmania must continue to make the transition to a clean, clever, low-carbon and creative economy, becoming a world leader and centre of excellence for key industries.

Tasmania must continue to make the transition to a clean, clever, low-carbon and creative economy, becoming a world leader and a centre of excellence for key industries. We recognise that the health of our economy is underpinned by the health of our environment, that further investment in education is vital to securing economic gains, and that a clean environment is core to Tasmania’s brand and a key strategic advantage.

Tasmania has a small, decentralised population, an enviable lifestyle, a significant renewable energy resource, produces highly successful niche products, has a good communications network, promotes GE-Free agriculture and boasts a thriving tourism industry. The Greens pioneered the ‘clean, green’ concept, which is now internationally recognised, and have led the way in defining what a knowledge based, ‘clever’ and low-carbon economy will look like.

Tasmania’s economic prosperity has historically been largely dependent on the exploitation of our natural resources. Our economy has been reliant on heavy industry, mining, forestry, increasingly outmoded and unprofitable farming methods, and hydro-industrialisation. We have been a first-world state with a third-world economy but there are promising signs that this is turning around and that there is growing differentiation and resilience in the Tasmanian economy. Tasmania can no longer compete in crowded, undifferentiated, low-value, high-volume commodity markets, especially with our impediments of small population size, distance of markets and increasing transport costs. The ‘old’ economy was environmentally destructive, reliant on government subsidies and resulted in job shedding. It was subject to the whims of interstate and overseas interests, and lacking in coherent and sustainable development strategies. As ‘new’ economy industries have emerged, conflict is occurring with ‘old’ industries. This can undermine promising new directions.

The Greens’ strategy is to harness and increase the knowledge, skills and ingenuity of the Tasmanian people, to value and reward their participation in the economy, to maximise our clean energy advantage and to attract innovative new business to the state lured by our clean, clever, low-carbon brand. The state must be fully equipped to compete in the marketplace of knowledge, skills and emerging technologies. We aim for higher value adding per person on a sustainable basis within a highly focussed development strategy which makes clearer choices about desirable future industries, reduces waste, and promotes Tasmania as a centre of innovative, sustainable business. We need to invest strategically in the diversification of our local economies, to ensure they are as robust as possible to withstand fluctuations within the global marketplace.

The Tasmanian Greens will ensure the necessary infrastructure for transport, communication, education and training, and for cooperative and industry cluster initiatives. The central economic role of government is to be a catalyst in that transition from older, wasteful, polluting and energy consuming forms of production to clean, green and clever industries and businesses committed to cleaner operations that flourish within that competitive advantage context.

Measures

Environment

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. protecting and promoting the state’s wilderness, natural environment and cultural treasures to attract strategically important businesses that wish to leverage our natural brand;

  2. setting world-leading environmental targets in reducing the environmental impacts of industry;

  3. assisting business and industry to move into cleaner production methods and to reduce their use of harmful chemicals.

Leading Edge Technologies

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. conducting a thorough brand-value analysis, and implement strategies to protect and enhance our clean, low-carbon and creative brand; recognising that ‘pristine’ is at the heart of Tasmania’s brand;

  2. supporting the deployment of new technology in Tasmania for communication, transport and other emerging technologies through dynamic regulatory assistance from, and partnerships with, state instrumentalities;

  3. subjecting new technologies to risk review and risk management, with the application of the Precautionary Principle;

  4. ensuring we remain completely GE-free in agricultural production.

Education and Training

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. prioritising increased expenditure on, and strategic planning for, education and training;

  2. maintaining prioritisation of improving school retention rates and encourage the development of a strong and collaborative training ethic amongst business management;

  3. establishing training centres in strategic industries, including green building skills, wine making, cheese making, information technology, aged and disability care, environmental management and tourism;

  4. ensuring new courses and existing qualification standards meet the imperative of preparing young people for new economy jobs;

  5. continually upgrading IT infrastructure and training, especially in learning institutions;

  6. ensuring that skills in strategic industries and services are prioritised and retained in Tasmania;

  7. promoting mentoring schemes to provide skill transfer from experienced practitioners to those commencing new business ventures or training;

  8. assisting industry transition, identifying and developing opportunities for upgrading skills and retraining of workers in ‘old’ economy industries, and managing redeployment opportunities.

Networks

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. encouraging industry clusters and innovative alliances;

  2. ensuring opportunities for symbiotic ventures including the use of waste products from one venture as a resource for another, adding positive environmental benefits, reducing waste, and improving our brand image;

  3. fostering production and marketing cooperatives;

  4. developing group employer networks;

  5. encouraging skill development and training, and employment sharing across the public and private sector;

  6. developing and implementing standardised, specific branding and marketing strategies in a cooperative way.

Small Business

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. supporting the establishment and growth of a wide diversity of small businesses that bring jobs and innovation to the economy;

  2. facilitating new business initiatives and ensure affordable access to broadband internet services.

  3. supporting streamlined environmental, consumer, and social regulatory frameworks as appropriate, to ensure they support a strong Tasmanian brand the small sector should leverage to their market advantage;

  4. supporting community involvement with innovative solutions to regulatory requirements;

  5. ensuring tax imposts on small business are not unreasonable;

  6. removal of stamp duties on insurance.

Economic Performance

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. establishing more relevant and holistic criteria for the assessment of economic performance than Gross State Product;

  2. moving away from a reliance on crude numerical growth indicators of economic success and include social and environmental indicators as well.

The full policy is available for download below.