At the Prime Minister’s Summit, I sat at a table which was hosted by Lara Giddings, Premier of Tasmania. During the dinner on the opening night, we had a good chance to discuss the future of Tasmania, which is an interesting subject given its small population of less than half a million, a high percentage of whom are Seniors, with a similar number of younger age groups on some type of welfare payments.
There is very little mining, and so the state faces the reality that it’s difficult to have a prosperous economy based on apples, wine and tourism, splendid as those are in Tasmania. Nevertheless, Lara Giddings was upbeat about Tasmania’s future.
She believes that the arrival of the NBN in Tasmania (well ahead of other Australian States) is a major plus. It has enabled commerce and industry in Tasmania, particularly small enterprises, to trade better with the entire world than they were ever able to do previously.
They will welcome more Seniors to choose Tasmania as the place to retire, especially if they are willing to invest in small communities all over the island and bring their experience and expertise to every level of Tasmanian society, while enjoying roads that are not crowded and real estate that is not expensive.
She also believes that her State, with its hydro power and its wind farms, will become the first in Australia to have carbon-free energy. In fact, Australia’s largest wind farm is being built in the northwest corner of the State.
There are clearly niche markets upon which Tasmania can capitalise in future years — a beautiful and peaceful place to retire, a great place to do business online and a place where many Seniors could be available to work part-time as needed, thereby helping businesses to cut overheads to suit their requirements.
Two of the other delegates at my table whose companies are leaders in digital technology agreed with the Premier. Tasmania is ideally suited to lead online trading in Australia. I came away believing that it will be a good idea to keep an eye on investment opportunities in Tasmania.
Even their somewhat aged railway system is a possibility.