Three views on how to make the North prosper

GEOFF LYONS, Bass Labor MHR:

MY PRIORITY for the Northern region is to continue to work for the people of Bass to ensure:

•The significant federal government investment into the Launceston General Hospital delivers effective health care to Northern Tasmanians.

•Tasmanian producers have the most cost-effective and speedy access to overseas markets. I will continue to lobby for an international training and trading ship out of Bell Bay.

•A vibrant agricultural sector through our investment into new irrigation schemes, which offers new and exciting opportunities to our agricultural industry that will enable farmers to broaden their crop alternatives into growing export markets.

•The continuation of the National Broadband Network rollout in Northern Tasmania, creating new jobs and opening the internet highway for the education of our children, health providers and Australia's most successful IT businesses.

•The federal government's investment in schools and trade training centres continues to develop a skilled workforce.

ANDREW NIKOLIC, Bass federal Liberal candidate:

MY ECONOMIC priority is to revitalise existing industries like forestry and mining, while concurrently helping the North win its fair share of Defence projects.

This will reinvigorate our manufacturing industry and help keep productive, capable Tasmanians in Tasmania.

I will seek to reposition the Defence facility at Scottsdale to become a centre for emergency food research, producing rations for our troops and for people in disaster areas.

This will create local jobs, add value to Tasmania's agricultural exports, and reinforce Australia's international reputation.

We could also link the Australian Maritime College's education programs into the multibillion-dollar oil and gas exploration projects off northern Australia.

We need better political influence in Canberra to fight for these practical initiatives, to restore commercial shipping at Bell Bay, and to address the issue of freight costs.

Revitalising our economy also requires an end to illegal protests and disproportionate Greens Party influence.

PETER WHISH-WILSON, Greens Senator:

MY KEY goal for the North of the state is to secure a Tarkine national park.

The North-West economy is the most depressed in Tasmania, and is in urgent need of a new vision and development plan if it is to prosper.

Demanding only more of "the same" for the region's future is both shortsighted and foolish.

Although it has a strong and proud agricultural sector, it has been failed by "old" industries such as forestry and mining.

It has also been let down by the tourism sector, often bypassed for other areas.

A world-class Tarkine national park will make the North-West an iconic destination.

It will bring investment to towns and cottage industries surrounding the park, and should create thousands of sustainable new jobs.

The park's boundaries are carefully designed to pose no threat to existing mining jobs.

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