Delivering his address to CEDA’s State of the State event in Hobart, Mr Hodgman said a return to minority government is “the last thing Tasmania needs.”
“Tasmania is very much a different place now than when we came to government,” Mr Hodgman said.
“It’s stronger, prouder and a more confident place and our economy is one of the strongest performing in the country.”
Outlining his government’s achievement since coming to power in 2014, Mr Hodgman announced that the state sector is now debt free. The state’s hospitals now have the shortest waiting lists on record, the population is growing at the fastest rate in six years, Tasmania has experienced the country’s second highest growth of any state in employment, the strongest growth in dwelling approvals and has the fastest growth in tourism.
Mr Hodgman attributed this success to strong, stable majority government and a buoyant, prosperous business community.
“We stuck to the plan I spoke about four years ago and it’s happening because we’ve delivered strong, stable government that’s allowed us to get things done rather than the uncertainty, the instability and the policy paralysis that comes with minority government, which is based on political deals,” Mr Hodgman said.
“Tasmania is certainly in much better shape now than when we came to government.
“It hasn’t happened by accident. It is the result of strong financial management and disciplined implementation of our fiscal strategy, which we designed to improve public sector efficiency, constrain government expenditure and maintain tax competitiveness.
“And it’s important to note as well that we have delivered a strong financial result despite unexpected and unprecedented challenges including one of the longest and worst fire seasons last year, severe flooding, which was declared a national natural disaster and an energy crisis, the result of historically low rainfalls and the first ever extended outage of the basslink cable, all of which had a devastating impact on our communities and came at a considerable cost to our budget.”
Mr Hodgman outlined his government’s six policy priorities for reelection:
- A strong economy and more jobs
- Taking action on the cost of living
- Investing more in education, health and services that Tasmanians need
- Keeping Tasmanians safe in their communities
- Protecting Tasmanians’ way of life
- Building the infrastructure the state needs for the future.
“Tasmania has come a long way in the last four years or so and the upcoming election will be a very important choice because it will determine the future direction of our state,” Mr Hodgman said.
“So, my pitch will be, if you’re happy with the way the state’s heading and if you want to see a continued and stable majority government, then you will need to vote Liberal. A vote for any other party will inevitably mean another minority government.”
Mr Hodgman repeated earlier pledges that his party would not enter into any deals with other parties to form government.
“When I spoke at CEDA four years ago, on the eve of the 2014 election…I said my party would not govern in minority and would never enter any deals with any political party. It was the same pledge I made in 2010 and which I stuck to. I said no deals and I made no deals and I never will,” Mr Hodgman said.
“I repeat this promise today because I will not compromise Tasmania’s interests. And I do so because it’s clear, particularly from the last four years, that a stable, majority government is absolutely the best thing for our state.
“It provides the certainty and stability that our state needs and that business needs to have the confidence to invest and it allows a government with a plan for the future to take Tasmania to the next level. And that is exactly what we plan to do.”