Confidence is contagious.
The more one hears a positive tale, the better one feels, particularly when it comes to investing.
Take, for example, Tasmania’s growing spirits industry where we have forged a reputation as a whisky making destination that rivals the best the world has to offer.
Our single malts are often mentioned in the same sentence as storied single malts from the Scottish heartlands or innovative drams from Japan.
Now vodka and gin are getting on the bandwagon, so to speak.
Hartshorn Distillery’s sheep whey vodka was named Australia’s best varietal vodka at the World Drinks Awards and Shene Estate Distillery’s Poltergeist gin won a gold medal at the World Gin Awards. Great results.
This is where Tasmania’s future lies: producing high-quality products that meet the needs of a specific market and therefore sell at a premium price.
The state is doing similarly impressive work in fresh produce, fermentation, design, eco-tourism, and education.
Pleasingly, Deloitte’s latest Business Outlook publication has largely positive things to say about the state’s economy, with employment increasing and wage growth being among the fastest in the nation.
The government jumped on the good news with Treasurer Peter Gutwein spruiking confidence levels that have been in the top two or three in the country.
“Tasmania is a confident place – investment is occurring, and, importantly, jobs are being created,” he said. Again great results.
It is not all beer (or gin) and Skittles, however, with plenty more work to be done.
The Deloitte publication also noted house construction in Tasmania had fallen and commercial investment was declining.
Positivity and confidence can only stretch so far; it needs to be backed up with a long-term plan.
That is why the next state budget – due on May 25 – will be such an important road map, particularly for Northern Tasmania.
It is no secret that a two-speed economy between booming Hobart and the rest of the state has seen the North’s economy lag.
The next major infrastructure project should be based in Northern Tasmania to help address this imbalance.
Some big projects like money for water and sewerage reform to address health issues in the Tamar River need to form part of the budget. That would be something to raise a glass to.