Economy in state of 'transition'

TASMANIA'S economy is in flux, according to Greens leader Nick McKim.

He thinks the state is halfway through the transition, which will take 20 years.

``We're right at the crux of Tasmania's economic transition now, and this government is the government that's doing the real heavy lifting in terms of transitioning Tasmania's economy from over-reliance on resource extraction to a far more broader, 21st century economic foundation.''

There is a perception of ``green tape'' holding back progress in the state, but Mr McKim says it's just that; a perception.

Reflecting on the year, he cites electricity reform, a battery hen ban, substantial prison reform, stopping the super trawler and reaching the affordable housing target as being among the party's achievements.

``There are always perceptions in politics, and anyone in politics needs to be aware of perceptions and address perceptions. But I think our support, for example, for the jobs package earlier this week shows that where we think money is targeted and well spent and will lead to more jobs for Tasmania, we support those initiatives,'' he said. ``What I'd say to anyone who thinks the Greens are too negative or opposed to job creation is - you can't have a healthy economy without a healthy environment.''

The party will tackle such perceptions head-on by releasing a long-term economic development plan early next year.

Mr McKim said that would demonstrate the Greens did have a vision for economic prosperity.

The opposition routinely accuses the Greens of having too much influence over government partner Labor.

Mr McKim is just as fond of saying he and fellow Greens minister Cassy O'Connor are only two of eight cabinet members, and the party comprises only five of 25 MHAs.

``Like every political party we win some, and lose some. We can't on our own get anything through the Parliament and we can't on our own block anything in Parliament.''

Under the signed Labor-Green arrangement, Mr McKim is free to publicly oppose decisions of cabinet he's refused to vote on once they're public.

Mr McKim has made the most of that by abstaining from votes on several occasions.

At times his public comments have caused a furore, but Mr McKim does not regret threatening to go on a rival trade mission to Asia or comparing anti-logging protesters to human rights heroes like Mahatma Gandhi.

Rather, he points to the reaction of Opposition Leader Will Hodgman - who called for Mr McKim's sacking from cabinet - as being frightening.

``That's ultra-draconian and a window into the far right of the Liberal Party,'' he said. ``The fundamentalist right is now dictating policy to Will Hodgman and he's too weak to stand up to them. We've seen that time, after time, after time.''

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