• Labor welcomes Saul Eslake’s Tasmania Report    
• Bold ideas put forward but Labor will not sell public assets  
• Saul Eslake colleges will be “unsustainable” under Liberal policy
• Government must now address whether colleges will close  

Labor has welcomed Saul Eslake’s 2017 ‘Tasmania Report’.

“As always, Saul Eslake has put some bold ideas on the table and started an important debate,” Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne said.

“Labor shares much of Mr Eslake’s vision for Tasmania but we cannot agree with him on privatisation.

“Publicly owned assets, in particular our critical energy assets, should not be sold off.

“But we do need to find new ways to invest in infrastructure, such as Labor’s bold plan to address water and sewerage challenges.

“By partnering with superannuation funds, Labor has identified an innovative way to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment in Launceston, Macquarie Point and at Cameron Bay for Mona stage two.

“The Liberal Government’s track record on infrastructure has been extremely disappointing.

“When it comes to education, Saul Eslake has exposed the Liberals’ simplistic rhetoric.

“While Mr Eslake endorses the extension of schools to year twelve, his presentation addressed what the Government has arrogantly ignored.”

On extending schools in urban areas to year 12, Mr Eslake said: “That probably does mean, as the Opposition has suggested, that colleges will eventually be unsustainable.”

“The Government must now finally address this issue,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Are they prepared to see colleges close? They can’t have their cake and eat it too.

“Labor agrees with Saul Eslake when he argues for a smoother pathway from year 7 to year 12.

“We strongly believe the best way to do it is through collaboration between existing high school and college campuses.

“We need that continuity without undermining teaching quality and student choice.

“Will the Government join Labor and Saul Eslake and have a genuine debate about what’s best for students or will they continue to pretend their policies don’t have consequences.”