Southern dominance of cabinet

IF the new government does nothing else, taxpayers will be grateful if it can reduce the jobless queues and listen to our diverse northern regions.

The previous government appeared to place less emphasis on jobs, against a background of worsening unemployment, and it was Hobart-centric. Even the former government's own glossy material showed how the south of the state always dominated expenditure.

The new ministerial titles lack the word employment, although we assume that doesn't mean much.

An element of symbolism might have helped. For example, even in name only the new Premier could have headed up his responsibilities with the word "jobs" or "employment", as a statement of intent, if nothing else.

Premiers mainly have a supervisory role in cabinet, but neither Mr Hodgman nor his deputy Jeremy Rockliff have responsibilities directly focused on economic direction and growth.

Secondly, why does a party with 10 of the 15 Liberals based north of Oatlands, have only four ministers from the regions while five ministries plus the speaker's job are based in the south?

Everybody from the south wins a prize, while in the north the biggest casualty is Braddon MHA Adam Brooks, a highly successful businessman who topped the poll in Braddon but secured only a parliamentary secretary's position.

Bass Liberal MHA Michael Ferguson, who championed the concept of year 11 and 12 for traditional high schools, has been stripped of education for the thankless, onerous task of health.

The government may dismiss this as a parochialism because surely cabinet selection must be based on merit.

Yes, but the previous government fell out of favour for three major reasons: the Greens partnership, an unfortunate longevity and a southern obsession.

The south is where most of the public service is located and where most of the Labor cabinet was located, and government priorities always tended to reflect that.

Not a criticism at this stage. Just some gratuitous advice.

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