Saul Eslake to provide economic snapshot of Tasmania

Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey, and B&E retail manager Kate Wagner look over last year's Tasmania Report.

Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey, and B&E retail manager Kate Wagner look over last year's Tasmania Report.

A comprehensive look at the state’s economic situation and direction will be released in two months’ time.

Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey, and B&E retail manager Kate Wagner.

Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey, and B&E retail manager Kate Wagner.

The Tasmania Report 2016, commissioned by the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other sponsors, is expected to be used as a lobbying tool for the business and community sector ahead of next year’s state budget.

The report, to be pieced together by leading Tasmanian economist Saul Eslake, will trace the state’s economic progress, social outcomes, and provide long-term goals.

The report would analyse the state’s housing and labour markets, the education system, population profile, and the public sector’s financial position.

TCCI chief executive Michael Bailey said the inaugural report, released last December, brought together different sets of information in a snapshot analysis for the first time in an effort to identify issues and solutions.

“Last year’s report really galvanised the state’s issues,” he said.

“For the first time, there was a real focus on not just business but the wider community. 

“To improve Tasmania, we need all communities to lift.

“But many of the things that we talk about will take generations to address – things like health and education.”

​Mr Eslake said he would again focus on themes population, participation and productivity as economic growth drivers.

“There is a realisation that significant shortfalls in each of those three things explain almost all of the differences in material living standards between Tasmania and the rest of the country,” he said.

“If these are to be tackled at all, they require sustained, consistent reform over a long period of time to narrow the gaps.”

He said he would take those themes further in this year’s report with a particular focus on the state’s aging population, and its impact on lifestyles more broadly.

Mr Eslake will compare Tasmania’s population profile to other islands around the world and use that evidence to create realistic goals for the state.

The chamber’s report will hinge on two important report releases in November: the Australian Bureau of Statistics annual state accounts report and the state government’s financial outcomes report.

The Tasmania Report will be released on Wednesday, December 14, at a breakfast in Hobart.

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