This year's annual State of the State event in Hobart revealed that Tasmania is hungry for economic reform and growth in the private sector.
Four key business leaders presented at the event including Hydro Tasmania, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Adair, COSMOS Inc, Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Viney, MyState Limited, Managing Director, John Gilbert and Ruralco Limited, Chief Financial Officer, Fergus Leicester.
Each spoke of the current and upcoming challenges and opportunities for Tasmania. These included the need to:
Premier Lara Giddings
Tasmania's Premier Lara Giddings followed these discussions with a presentation on the economic position and future of Tasmania.
Ms Giddings said that Tasmania had fared well during the GFC and the export market had remained resilient.
She said in 2008-9 to 2009-10 there was a reduction in business investment, but this has been rectified in 2009-10 top 2010-11.
However, Ms Gidding said that with Tasmania taking a further hit from GST receipts, a growing population and the wind-up of stimulus spending, Tasmania did not have the luxury of treading water until things improve.
If we do not address this Budget challenge, not only will we plunge into net debt, but we will also stifle the innovation and hard work of businesses working to create jobs and grow the economy," she said.
Ms Giddings outlined Tasmania's Economic Development Plan With the purpose of improving the prosperity of all Tasmanians through economic development which is socially and environmentally sustainable. The four goals to achieve this include:
Ms Giddings also said that strong private investment is needed in Tasmania, as government consumption cannot maintain its growth. With the current international fiscal situation, any government would be irresponsible to take or increase deficits to fund consumption.