These are the priorities and issues people in the community are telling me they want action on…
This city shaping and urban renewal project will deliver 4600 new homes and 1200 new jobs to Greater Hobart. It connects people to education, employment and services along the rail corridor and will alleviate traffic congestion and is a no brainer for our City. State Governments of all persuasions have failed to act on this for too many years.
No pokies in pubs and clubs
Pokies cause enormous harm in our communities. The are designed specifically to lose and be addictive. In Glenorchy our community lose over $2m every month into pokie machines. Pokies belong in casinos, not in our community in pubs and clubs. As we transition to removing them from our community we should also be implementing harm minimisation measures such as slower spin speeds and $1 maximum bet limits.
Integrated transport system – Hobart is a city facing rapid growth and has become highly congested. This directly impacts on the quality of our life and the sustainability of our city. Hobart needs an Integrated public transport network, including rail, ferries and buses, to ensure that it can cope now and into the future.
Public transport – Tasmania invests too little in public transport and as a result has poor patronage outcomes. Funding needs to increase for public transport if we want to see a modal shift away from car dependency.
School children on public transport – To encourage greater use of public transport, all public transport should be free for school children. In addition, it is unacceptable that school buses are crammed full and unsafe. We need more buses for school routes so that children can safely travel to and from school.
Active transport – Active transport networks play an important role in a city’s integrated transport system and there ought to be greater funding of cycling and walking infrastructure to encourage healthy alternatives to using a car.
Voluntary Assisted Dying – With the right legislated protections, every Tasmanian has the right to die with dignity.
Multicultural communities – Tasmania is blessed to have people from 177 different countries living on our island. Multicultural communities are an important part of our economic, social and cultural life and should be supported and welcomed.
Grassroots community organisations – Our community simply would not survive without the countless hours and work of volunteers in our grassroots community organsiations. These community organisations are at the coalface and know their community best. Through supporting them we can achieve far better outcomes for local communities.
Honest and Transparent Government
Election Donation reform – the current weak laws are an attack and an insult on our democracy. Elections and political influence is too easily bought in Tasmania. We need strong reform that limits the influence that big business can by and discloses who is paying for what – no matter how big or how small.
Anti-Corruption Body with teeth – Stern words do not deter corruption and the certainly do not punish it. Tasmania needs an anti-corruption body that is adequately resourced and has the teeth to prosecute and ensure justice is done.
Right to know – Tasmanians deserve to be treated with respect and there is too much secrecy in government. We need to have a culture within government which supports more routine disclosure of information and an adequately resourced ombudsman so that the Government cannot get away with inadequate reasons for refusal as they currently do.
Health and aged care
Community health – There needs to increased investment in community health services so that people can stay and be cared for in their homes. This improves peoples quality of life and also improves overall health outcomes
Reducing the bed block – no one wants to stay in hospital but because the lack of community based and in-home services available then people often are forced to. This causes bed-blocking and has a flow on effect which means that the people who do genuinely need acute care in a hospital can’t get it or have to wait an unreasonable time. Greater investment in sub-acute care services means that people can get out of hospital faster, have better care in their home or community freeing up the much needed beds for acute patients.
Promoting wellness – It’s not rocket science that keeping people well cost less than treating unwell people. By investing more in wellness programs we can save more in the long term on health, and best of all we help to ensure that Tasmanians lead healthy lives.
Local services – It is important that there are wrap-around and allied health services located within communities so that they are easily accessible to people in their communities when they need them so that they don’t have to travel.
After-hours GPs – On far too many occasions people are forced to present to the emergency department because they could not see a local GP. Our after-hours services are under too much pressure, there are not enough GPs who bulk bill and finding one who is available is often very difficult. This put pressure on an already under-resource hospital system. The Government must work as a priority with the Federal Government to ensure that GPs hav the support they need to meet the medical needs of our community wherever possible.
Elective Surgery – It is unacceptable that Tasmanians have to wait, often experiencing chronic pain, for surgery. One in every ten Tasmanians is on the waiting list for outpatient services. We simply do not have enough beds and access to specialist surgeons to meet the needs of our State. The Government must address both these issues if we want to see a reduction in waiting times.
Mental health services – It shouldn’t take someone to reach crisis point before they can access mental health services. Tasmanians should have easy access to mental health services within their community when they need them.
Addiction services – Addictive behaviours can have an enormously detrimental impact not only on the person experiencing the behaviour but also their family and friends. Timely access to good and local support services can improve the lives of many people in our community.
GP access in residential aged care – It is too hard to find a GP willing to visit residents in aged care services. It is often a barrier for people moving into a home. The small number of GPs who currently do it are overworked. The State Government as a priority needs to work with local GPs to ensure there are more who are able and willing to work in this area.
Putting people at the centre of health care – I hear all the time that people feel like the health system just treats them like a number or a statistic. We need a health system that puts the person at the centre of every decision and focuses on improving the quality of life for each individual.
NDIS – Whilst the introduction of the NDIS has revolutionised the delivery of disability support services you need to be a brain surgeon to navigate the mountain of paper work and the processes to ensure that you can access the care needed. It shouldn’t be that hard and many people are not receiving the services they should because it’s too hard. Supporting people with disabilities to access services not only improves their quality of life it makes good economic sense too by reducing the cost to our health system and encouraging people to live their best lives and participate fully in our economy.
Affordable housing – We have been in a housing crisis for over a decade and the situation is just getting worse not better. Families can’t afford to enter the property market with houses being sold well over the asking price and rent has increased significantly meaning that more and more Tasmanians are living in housing stress. We have older Tasmanians living in big family homes who want to down size to something smaller in their community but there is nothing available and we also have young families who want those big family homes that aren’t going on the market. We need to urgently intervene to diversify the housing that is available and ensure it is more affordable.
Public housing – There are now more than 3,800 people on the waiting list for public housing. With the private housing market so unaffordable more Tasmanians than ever need support with their housing needs. Whilst the Federal Government has waived the State’s housing debt, little has been done to reinvest that money back into actual new homes for people.
Homelessness – With more and more Tasmanians in housing stress, homelessness can happen to any of us at any time. All it takes is a job loss, an illness, an addiction, or a huge increase in rent. Housing is a basic human right and we need to invest in more emergency and crisis housing to ensure that every Tasmanian has their basic needs met.
Accessible housing – People want to live in connected communities where they can easily access all the services and amenities that they need. We have an opportunity to provide much needed homes if we densify development near transport corridors and close to services.
Jobs Hubs – Finding the right job can be hard. Jobs hubs can help to link job seekers with the employers and offer support with training. They work closely with young people, long term unemployed people, those who need to re-train because their industry has been hit hard covid, or those who for many reasons experience barriers to entering the employment market.
Re-skilling workers – Older people in our community have great life experience that is highly valuable to employers but they sometimes need assistance in re-skilling to meet the changing needs of the employment market. It is important that we support them as they transition to new areas so that we don’t lose the benefit of their acquired knowledge and experience over the years.
Securing more jobs – All levels of government have invested more money than ever in public infrastructure projects, particularly since COVID-19. It should be a requirement whenever government funding is used for infrastructure that they require a local jobs pledge. This would ensure that the money invested stays within the local economy.
Crime prevention – No one wants to be a victim of crime so preventing it from happening in the first place is a no-brainer. By investing more in in crime prevention and restorative justice programs like refunding Chance on Main, U-Turn projects, and restorative justice vandalism programs we can reduce the likelihood of people offending and increase the likelihood that people will be contributing positively to their local community. Investment in crime prevention is cheaper than keeping people in prisons and we end up with a stronger and safer community.
Importance of vocational education – TAFE is an critical part of our education system as it provides for vocational education and training
Students at the centre – As an important vocational education provider the focus must be on ensuring positive student educational experiences and good employment outcomes. This means understanding the needs of industry and what training and experience student need to secure those employment opportunities in a meaningful way.
Valuing TAFE teachers – Teaching is not just a job it is a vocation. Those at TAFE deserve to be valued, invested in, and to be recognised as the key to achieving student success.
Improving the TAFE experience – Working to improve the TAFE model is something that everyone should be working together towards. A parliamentary select committee could investigate improvements to the TAFE model of education delivery through extensive consultation with both the education and industry sectors.
Inner-city high school – With more families living in or near the CBD of Hobart and the local high schools already bursting at the seams, it is time to invest in a new inner city high school.
Early childhood learning – Our existing Child and Family Centres have become important connections for families to access support and opportunities for early childhood learning. They work best when they are embedded into each community through partnerships and local participation. This program ought to be expanded to more suburbs within Greater Hobart to give our children the best chance to thrive.
Year 11 and 12 – With the implementation of the decision to amalgamate Year 11 and 12 with local high schools it is important a review of is conducted to determine the educational outcomes and efficiencies in urban high schools.
Career pathways – It can be a nightmare for young people and their families to try and navigate all the study and career options. Career pathway or guidance officers can help young people find a way to engage and see purpose in their studies.
Mental and sexual health in schools – Young people and their families find it hard to access mental and sexual health services. By locating mental health, sexual health and GP services in every high school we can ensure that our young people are well and ready to learn.
Support for students with special needs – Every child should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. To ensure that every child can adequate support and funding needs to be provided for those children with special and complex needs so that they can participate.
Literacy and numeracy – It is unacceptable that as a State we have so low levels of literacy and numeracy. These are the fundamentals needed for learning and too many people struggle daily. We need to invest heavily in the early years to support children and also work with adults through programs like 26Ten and other mentoring programs to help everyone achieve a basic level of functional literacy and numeracy.
Climate change – The science is undeniable. Tasmania is already experiencing the effects of climate change with increasingly severe bushfires, floods and drought. The Government must act immediately by declaring a climate emergency.
Zero net Carbon emission – Tasmania should work towards achieving zero net carbon emission by 2030 with the aim of reaching as close to zero emissions as possible.
Electric Vehicles – To support the transition to a zero net carbon emission state we need to look to fuel alternatives for transport. With renewable hydro-electric energy, electric cars can help us achieve this target. To encourage greater use of electric vehicles we need to provide for more charging stations in key locations around the state.
Sustainable development – It is simply unsustainable to continue the urban sprawl in greater Hobart. Not only does is ultimately end up costing more for infrastructure, it impacts on overall public amenity and our environment. We have an opportunity to intensify development within our existing urban boundaries, particularly along transport corridors, which means that we can keep our green spaces green and our agricultural land productive.
Single use plastics – We understand now that we cannot afford both financially and environmentally to use single use plastics. The cost of waste disposal is increasing dramatically and these products in landfill end up harming our environment. Encouraging the re-use of products reduces our waste overall. Tasmania should introduce a state-wide ban on single use plastics.
Tourism in national parks – Our national parks and wilderness are unique and their wildness forms an important part of our tourism brand. We want to ensure that people get to enjoy them through environmentally sensitive and low impact tourist ventures but that they are not loved to death.
Women’s Health Policy
Access to reproductive and sexual health service – Every Tasmanian woman should have access to appropriate reproductive and sexual health services, including termination services. It is unacceptable that Tasmanian women are expected to travel to the mainland for these services.
Period poverty – Young girls are not attending school because they don’t have access to period products. They are missing out on education because of a normal bodily function. All schools should provide free period products available to students to ensure that this barrier to education is removed.
- Introduce measures to improve control of unreasonable and unjustifiable increases in rent, particularly at the end of a lease term. It is unacceptable that in some cases rents have been increased by as much as $250 per week.
- Support amendments to allow for standard residential lease agreements and standard forms including a standard application form
- Support amendments to allow pets in rentals unless there is a good reason for their exclusion
- Support the repealing of no reason end of lease evictions