One of the biggest criticisms of the federal budget handed down last month was the lack of vision. After coronavirus delayed the budget by five months, there was an expectation that a little hope would be discovered after months of hearing that the full impact of the pandemic was still to come.
That budget night was a little underwhelming. The usual suspects made an appearance, and while the budget didn't let Australians down, it also failed to inspire.
Tasmanians turned their attention to the state budget. We weren't expecting too many surprises, with some of the funds already spent on ensuring Tasmania remained on top of the COVID-19 threat.
The Premier and Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, has been stoic leading Tasmania through a global pandemic. While he has had his moments of losing his cool, overall, his leadership has been praised nationally.
This is why we looked for this budget to be revolutionary. After all, everyone, including the Premier, says this will be one of the most critical budgets for Tasmania. A keyword from COVID has been innovation. The ability for communities, businesses and industries to adapt and genuinely have a positive outlook while embracing the challenges. It's not up to the budget to be the saviour. What we need is for the government, through the budget, to set the direction for Tasmania's future in what will be a brave, new world.
This budget, similar to last year, will use infrastructure spend to trigger economic recovery and stimulus. However, like the federal budget, it's not revolutionary. Now that we have the plan, regardless of how bold it may be, it's the community's turn to add to this vision.
Here in Launceston, we are on the cusp of a change that has the potential to transform the city with the relocation of UTAS. It seems fitting the next steps were approved the same day this important budget was revealed. The project is an example of what we can achieve working together and dreaming big.
Let's hope many in our community will make the most of a budget that has had everything thrown at it to have a clear path to recovery.
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