Economic report tells Hobart not to forget the regions, Nationals senator argues

News that Tasmania is beginning to outpace mainland states economically on the back of a booming tourism industry is a stark reminder to governments that it needs to invest much more in regional Tasmania, according to Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin.

“The latest Commsec State of the States report shows Tasmania no longer holds the economic wooden spoon and the Liberal State Government deserves credit for that, but it needs to start spending a lot more outside Hobart,” Senator Martin said.

“The report credits a surge in tourism for the economic turnaround and, according to Tourism Tasmania, a majority of visitors are coming to regional Tasmania not Hobart and that gap is growing.”

“That is why the State Government needs to rethink its Hobart-centric approach.”

“For example it initially agreed to a deal I secured to scuttle HMAS Darwin off the East Coast as a permanent tourism draw for dive enthusiasts but then balked at the cost at the last minute.”

“Another example is a recent ministerial statement on the Tasmanian health system. It was almost exclusively about Hobart Hospital; the only mention of our other great regional hospitals was the provision of helipads and bus services.”

“Launceston, Devonport, Burnie and all the rest of regional Tasmania contribute more than our fair share and we deserve our fair share in return,” Senator Martin concluded.