The reality of Tasmania's economic position continues to be glossed over by misleading reports and a denialist government, says a leading Tasmanian workforce demographer.
Dr Lisa Denny said a recent economic outlook report, and the reaction to it, added to a "culture of denial in the political community and by business leaders".
The report said the Tasmanian economy was "leading the nation" and referenced eight categories by which the economy was measured.
Five of those prioritised population growth as being a key indicator of economic performance.
Dr Denny said measuring the Tasmanian economy by population growth prioritised consumption over other areas like encouraging more high-skilled jobs and developing education standards.
She said the report essentially indicated Tasmania had "not slowed down as much" as other states.
After the report was released Premier Peter Gutwein heralded the result and said it was a "positive endorsement" of the government's "plan to secure Tasmania's future".
Dr Denny said the reaction to the report was frustrating because it misled the public.
We have a culture of denial in our political community and business leaders about the reality of what's actually happening in Tasmania.- Dr Lisa Denny
"Their reasons for denial is by talking the truth will affect confidence in the state."
Dr Denny said after winning the election it was time for the government to address systemic deficiencies in the state.
"If we don't have a frank, fearless conversation about the reality of the state when it comes to changing policies so we can afford the health services that we deserve, or the education that our children deserve, or road safety or housing people deserve ... then you're not going to be able to affect change," she said.
"[The government] really needs to come out about and have some of those tough conversations about the fact we have an ageing population, we have a health system in disaster and have an education system that's not delivering."
When asked what challenges the Tasmanian economy was facing and would continue to face over the next decade Mr Gutwein did not point to anything specific other than the "ever-present threat" of COVID-19.
Mr Gutwein pointed to the state's unemployment rate and employment growth as strong points for the Tasmanian economy and said the latest report reiterated the state was recovering after 2020.
"If other people want to talk the State down, that's a matter for them - however, no one can deny our economy is bouncing back from the pandemic, and that is a good thing," he said.
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