Joint survey a response to federal budget

Unions Tasmania and The Australia Institute Tasmania have joined forces in an attempt to better understand what barriers people face when attempting to gain employment.

The survey was launched in response to the federal budget, which both organisations say offered nothing to increase the state’s jobs. 

The Australia Institute Tasmania director Leeane Minshull said the budget asked “some of the lowest paid Australians to do even more lifting” without addressing cost of living issues.

“We know the official unemployment rate has dropped in Tasmania, but so too has the rate of full-time employment,” she said. 

"We are collecting data to better inform us of the pressures facing underemployed Tasmanians.”

Mrs Minshull said the survey was “the first step in understanding the main cost of living pressures” faced by Tasmanian families.

“We have got a lower average wage than most of the other states,” she said. 

To combat the issue Mrs Minshull hoped the federal government would invest more in this state’s natural assets to create jobs. 

“The Prime Minister has expressed a desire to be a nation building Prime Minister,” she said. 

Mrs Minshull said money should be provided to build extra capacity for renewable energy generation.

Union Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday described the federal budget as a disappointment for Tasmania and said there were no job-creating projects offered.

She said the survey would help establish an understanding of future jobs.

“We want to start a real conversation with the community about the jobs they need to live a great life here in Tasmania,” she said. 

“When we’re out there talking to working people, they talk about whether there are jobs out there at all and, if they are out there, what do they look like?

“Cost of living pressures are increasing but workers are struggling to get decent payrises.”

The Australia Institute’s budget analysis showed Tasmanians earning $40,000 a year will pay an extra $200 per year and those on $60,000 will pay an extra $300 in an increased Medicare levy.

It showed people with an annual taxable income of more than $180,000 will receive, on average, a tax cut of about $2600.

Anyone interested in taking part in the survey should go to www.tai.org.au/tasmania or ww.unionstas.com.au