Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Tasmania Report: A Tale of Two Tasmanias

TasCOSS has called on the Tasmanian government, business and community sector leaders to put participation front and centre in our State: Participation in learning, participation in employment, participation socially and economically.

“Tasmanians know—and statistics back up—the reality of The Two Tasmanias,” CEO of TasCOSS Kym Goodes said.

“Our Tasmania is a State where the high quality of our fresh produce is touted overseas but many Tasmanians don’t eat adequate amounts of fresh food[1],” Ms Goodes said.

“A Tasmania where we produce Booker Prize winners but almost half our population is functionally illiterate.[2]

“While Tasmanians can be justly proud that our State is making its mark internationally because of our tourism, wine and food boom, a shocking number of Tasmanians cannot afford a healthy meal, let alone enjoy the wonderful attractions that bring tourists to our shores.”

Ms Goodes said it was time to find solutions to these gaps we’ve long known existed.

“We need a taskforce that looks into the disconnect between these two Tasmanias, an evidence-based, all of community effort so we understand definitively the barriers to learning for all Tasmanians once and for all.

“This objective, evidence informed approach must involve the whole community. Equally, a Workforce Participation Strategy is also required—one based on a deep understanding of the structural issues that have caused Tasmanians to remain unemployed and underemployed.”

Ms Goodes’s comments came on the release of the collaborative TCCI’s Tasmania Report, which was prepared by economist Saul Eslake through a ground-breaking partnership between the business and social service sectors.

“The Tasmania Report demonstrates the two Tasmanias profoundly,” Ms Goodes said.

“We’re experiencing the fastest growth in our economy since 2008/09. Now is the critical time to address income inequality and ensure this renewed level of economic performance provides opportunities for all Tasmanians to participate, economically and socially.

“We must align the goals of our community to inform and set the goals of government—to focus on employment growth and to lift the health and educational outcomes for the State.

“Our goal should be to leverage off our current economic growth and finally make inroads into the long term, entrenched, generational unemployment and poverty that has been a blight on thousands of Tasmanian lives, Tasmanian children, and Tasmanian families.”

Refs …

1 Department of Health and Human Services, Report on the Tasmanian Population Health Survey, April 2014: 34.
2 ABS (2013), Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-2012. Cat. No. 4228.0.

Report author, economist Saul Eslake, at the MOFO Hothouse event earlier this year …

ABC: Poorer education not social disadvantage the reason Tasmania falls behind, landmark report says Tasmanians cannot blame social disadvantage or lack of government spending for lagging behind on key social and economic indicators, a landmark report has found. Leading economist Saul Eslake will release the first Tasmania Report this morning, painting a stark picture of the state’s economic and social position. The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Tasmanian Council of Social Service commissioned the report in an effort to inform and guide debate and future policy. Among the report’s key findings was that Tasmania’s gross product was $18,300 less per person than the national average. Mr Eslake attributed the difference to a smaller percentage of Tasmanians being employed, and that the employed on average worked the equivalent of three fewer weeks than their counterparts in other states and produced 18 per cent less an hour. The report highlighted the crucial role of education. “The one thing that would do more than anything else to reduce each of those sources of the gap between per capita income and the national average… would be higher levels of educational participation and attainment,” he said. “I think if we were able to create an environment in which Tasmanians learned more, and worked more, they would probably earn more.” Only 17.8 per cent of Tasmanians aged between 15 and 75 have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification – lower than in any other state or territory. The ABC has embedded the report HERE: Read it for yourself …

… Or read it on the TCCI Website HERE …

… Or on TassieTimes HERE

• Use the TT NEWS Dropdown Menu (top nav bar) for other reports/comment on this hugely significant report …

Cassy O’Connor: Tasmania Report Presents Multiple Challenges for the State

Bryan Green: Tasmania Report to start important policy conversation

Bryan Green: Three Amigos spectacular fail in getting Tasmania’s fair share from Regions FundMercury report here: Anger at Tassie regional grants snub

Peter Gutwein, Jeremy Rockliff: Tasmania Report

Nick McKim: National Stronger Regions Fund Leaves Tassie Out in the Cold

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    BTW: about the “two Tasmanias” (with its neat allusion to Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’):

    ~ that there are two Tasmanias is absolutely (and not just relatively) normal, and the same dichotomist expression could be applied to every nation, province, state, region and zone in the whole, whole world;

    ~ actually, in most cases, “many” if far more accurate than “two”.

    Nothing unusual to see here – it’s called ‘normal distribution’ and is illustrated by the Bell Curve.

    (Nothing above implies that no action is needed – just drop the childish astonishment.)

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Fair points, Ms Walker (Comment 11).

    My impression is that these days, useless time-servers can flee their classroom to a desk, a screen & five-footed chair of their own, and then rat-fuck (whatever that precisely means!) their erstwhile colleagues.

  3. Jean Walker

    December 12, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Quote: “there is no other profession which has ceded so much power, authority and influence to bystanders and strangers, to politicos and parasites. And which has colluded so spinelessly in its own degradation.

    I agree with every word you have said in #5 about Tasmanian education except the above. Perhaps you have forgotten that teachers are/were predominantly female and in the era you speak about they were mostly temporary, unequal pay, no holiday pay, no sick leave, no super, having to resign on marriage, later on pregnancy, therefore never gaining permanency and in a constant state of anxiety abut being transferred too far away from their homes or not being re-employed at all. I spent 17 years being “temporary” and never knowing whether I was going to be reemployed the following term, let alone the next year. The unfortunate consequence of this was that most women teachers learnt to toe the line, follow the party policy and not rock the boat, but often not believing in what they were forced to do until this attitude to authority became part of their psyche

    Principals (and that terrible breed, Infant Mistresses) called the shots in schools NOT the unions. That is a gross misunderstanding. Principals’ promotion depended entirely on toeing the DoE line and forcing their staff to do likewise. That is still the case today, perhaps even more so with a current trend of young and inexperienced principals being promoted into positions beyond their ability in order that they can be more easily subjugated to the departmental will.

  4. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    In today’s Sunday Mercury (Yes, I know . . .), there is an opinion putting the case for ending the State’s unique separation of Yr 11 & 12 classes from Yr 1-10 schooling – link:

    piecehttp://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/tasmanias-colleges-are-failing-and-our-students-are-being-left-behind/news-story/6774c9ed2d1600f1711587855092f6ac#load-story-comments .

    Here is my response (with enhanced layout):

    “Whatever their merits (and, remember they were introduced only “partly as an educational idea whose time had come” – page 230, Companion to Tasmanian History), Yr 11 & 12 stand-alone colleges have at least one mutual disadvantage for Yr 7-12 teachers and students: they are a form of secondary schooling apartheid.

    “In Yr 7-12 schools, younger students can enjoy the benefits of at least some of their classes being taught by (presumably) more qualified and / or knowledgeable staff, and these staff can benefit by having to craft their lessons in a much more pupil-focused way, which can also improve how they go in their normal Yr 11 & 12 lessons. Teachers of Yr 7-10 classes have on hand colleagues with (presumably) greater depth of subject knowledge – and the profession is often called one the most collegial of all professions.

    “In more general ways, younger pupils benefit from having Yr 11 & 12 fellow-students as leaders, which in turn provides leadership opportunities for these senior students. Interesting that of all the State’s independent schools, only one chose the ‘college’ arrangement – some research might provide evidence of whether that school’s traditional clientele switched ‘allegiance’ to other schools which kept Yrs 7-10 and 11 & 12 in a unified structure.”

    And, yes, the contentious matter of Yr 10 (so-called / self-styled) ‘graduation’ formals gets a serve in the article. Me? I’m agnostic, with a leaning to letting the kids have their night.

  5. Lynne Newington

    December 10, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Simon to hell with label of a “problem parent” turn every stone and do only what a parent can do.
    How fortunate your child has the father to go in and bat for him/her, especially with the discrimiation of same sex parents……
    Take it up with your local MP or find a counsellor not necessarily in that order.
    You’ll find a way, we always do when it comes to our children.
    Take courage.

  6. Simon Warriner

    December 10, 2015 at 1:55 am

    re 5, thanks for that neat summation Leonard. Pretty much what my Mum, who had to wade through those changes too, reckons happened.

    re 7, Lynne, try having aspirations for your child when the gate keeping so and so’s have decided he does not have the right stuff. Argue and you get labelled a “problem parent” and the gate keeper sits in on meetings with the teacher and keeps telling you not to have unrealistic expectations.

  7. Lynne Newington

    December 9, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    #5, Where were/are the aspirations of parents for their children without any offence meant.
    It’s never easy if a sole parent but it’s not without possibilities surely, with the likes of the Smith Family for instance, who do wonderful work or the Lions Club and Rotary.
    It’s a sorrowful state of affairs and as a parent who had to learn against the odds, resiliance with aspirations I look forward to a brigher future for your families.

  8. Claire Gilmour

    December 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm


    Well then … the Tasmanian government (which includes both Liberal and Labor party) should stop gifting money to the Forestry, mining and pokie/gambling overnmeg sectors … you know the government/business club that rips the heart and soul out of Tasmania!

  9. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

    “Why do [I] think that was?” (Comment 4) – in an expression made famous among us in one of our greatest movies, it was “the vibe”.

    From the late 1970s, schooling, teaching and learning was heavily influenced by truly radical changes associated with counter-cultural movements originating largely in the US and France, with the result that (among lots and lots of other changes) scholastic babies got thrown out with the educational bathwater.

    Among the unfortunate effects (and very ‘unfortunate’ for school pupils) was that teachers were no longer expected to know lots of stuff, and even less to have to actually teach that stuff – that was just s-o-o-o-o-o reactionary, patriarchal, capitalistic, etc, etc, et-bloody-cetera. This was neatly summed up, in a typically brainless bi-polar way, by a teacher being ‘a guide on the side’, and not ‘a sage on the stage’. (Of course, effective teachers are a bit of both, and most realistic people are sensibly ‘both-and’, rather than simple-mindedly ‘either-or’, in their general approach to life.)

    Teachers were taught to accept their professional role being downgraded to and dissed as co-learners with the ten-year-olds in their classrooms, a degradation which began as, and was well meant to be, a more empathetic teacher-pupil relationship. By and large, teachers abdicated control of their profession in an anyone-but-teachers way to academics (who’d never been anywhere near Yr 9G), bureaucrats (ditto), and union officials (who could see no distinction between a trade union and a professional association).

    Seems to me that there is no other profession which has ceded so much power, authority and influence to bystanders and strangers, to politicos and parasites. And which has colluded so spinelessly in its own degradation.

  10. Simon Warriner

    December 8, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    re 3, Why do you think that was, Leonard?

    They sound like very sensible and straightforward objectives. The sort that should gain universal support.

  11. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Education, or in more straight forward language, schooling / teaching / learning, is perhaps the one area where Tasmania and Tasmanians could have done something good for themselves.

    Think about it: what if the standard of teaching and learning in our primary schools had been the most effective in the nation? What if 95% of our primary school leavers had entered secondary schooling with a quality of knowledge, skills and attitude second to none?

    What if 90% of those leaving secondary Yr 10 had such a high standard of specific learning skills, of general subject knowledge, and attitudes to match that whether they went into work or on to senior secondary, they would have been the best such school-leavers in the nation?

    What if our HSC (Yrs 11 & 12) had been something like International Baccalaureate standard?

    And it all could have been done with the people and resources already here.

    But it wasn’t.

  12. Karl Stevens

    December 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

    This is where the over representation by politicians has taken us.
    They want illiterates to vote above the line and elect senators who spend the next 6 years acting against the Tasmanian interest.
    The current crop of Liberal Senators may as well be representing Saudi Arabia. A nation where all that matters is religion and fossil fuels.

  13. Treeger

    December 8, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Overemployment is also an issue, where many Tasmanian are working two or more jobs up to 70 hours a week or 7 days a week affects this imbalance too. We are not a Communist state to be able to legislate against this and workers should be free to work as much as they can. This perhaps points at a root cause – that only a proportion of Tasmanians “can be trusted to have a job”.

    Intergenerational dyslexia stretching back to Transportation is a timebomb?

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