Right now, Hobart enjoys a wonderful reputation. It is the flavour.
Brimming with tourists, projects, and a vibrant arts scene, we express pride in our capital city.
From an economic point of view, we are steadily climbing the ladder in reports such as CommSec State of the States, moving from fifth to fourth on the range of indicators, and unemployment has reduced to 5.7 per cent, equal second of the states. However, our participation rate remains 4.7 percentage points below the national average at 61 per cent, easily the lowest in the country, which indicates that we must continue to focus on population growth, job creation and education.
Yet, during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the commentary to a person about our state was often negative. The positive change during the last twenty years has been stratospheric. And as I travel regularly to the mainland with the Property Council of Australia, all my colleagues and members want to talk about is Tasmania and in particular, Hobart.
But there remains so much more to do.
By 2030, we can imagine a Hobart which is much different to one that we see now. Not removed of the key characteristics that make our capital city a remarkable place to live, work and play, but more sophisticated in its planning, more diverse, not just in its people, but its places to visit and reside, and of course continuing to deliver a vibrant social scene which connects people from all walks of life.
And for this to occur, we must address a range of issues which continue to place a handbrake on our improvement and growth.
This is Hobart of 2030.
The Hobart City Deal has delivered outstanding infrastructure and service provision and it has also delivered a plan for growth. Water, sewerage and stormwater has been fixed by the State Government having demanded improvement and fast tracked the infrastructure investment which has been so drastically required for decades. Community discussion regarding Salamanca sewerage is a debate from the distant past and businesses have leveraged the investment while the community applauds the benefits. Hobart understands its place as a capital city. Carefully considered and clearly articulated site-specific modelling make it clear where and how residential, commercial and industrial investment and development can occur, and community understands and supports the opportunities and regulation of potential investment.
Hobart's population is approaching 400,000 having already outstripped the projections of 2017, and in line with the national average for growth. When combined with increased private investment, population growth has made a major difference to our economy. Instead of just turning-up for a holiday, many have relocated to our island, bringing with them a range of enterprising ideas, professions and culture which has grown the state’s sense of community wealth.
Transport options have increased dramatically, combining a variety of sustainable methods to both ease congestion in the CBD and provide opportunities for people from the suburbs surrounding Hobart to arrive at work on time. We have perspective on our perceived hostile traffic environment, cognisant of the fact that it still takes longer to reach the Melbourne CBD in a taxi from Tullamarine than it does to fly from Tasmania to Victoria in a plane. Driver-less vehicles and recharge stations are the new norm in Hobart, providing varied transport options and convenience for residents and tourists alike. In fact, many families no longer feel the need to own a car.
Hobart is a research city, defined by a focus on STEM and attracting technology start-ups through State Government subsidised ultra-fast internet hubs. We are a flourishing Antarctic gateway, acknowledging our history and building on the scientific knowledge which leads to the protection of the southernmost continent. Macquarie Point integrates aboriginal stories with tales of Scott, Mawson and Shackleton seamlessly describing their adventures. Because of investment and continued focus on education and a changing jobs market, almost all Tasmanians are likely to complete year 12. Associate and Bachelors’ Degrees along with post graduate study has increased in popularity and expectation significantly.
The Hobart housing market is diverse. Housing Tasmania strategically supports our most vulnerable. Retirement villages cater for the needs of those who have worked for a significant period of their lives. The aged-care industry is viewed positively, providing the support required and delivering a range of specialist jobs. Large suburban homes have been opened-up to the market for families, through programs which assist in downsizing to smaller, inner-city residences. Young couples and students also add to the city’s vibrancy. Housing supply has increased because we are smart about our approval processes. A one-stop shop in the “cloud” allows you to develop and lodge an application, triggering the range of approvals required and you meet with specialist teams who can both answer your queries and guide your investment. Approvals required for developments over a threshold of $8 million dollars are now objectively assessed by regional expert panels, focussing on design, and social and economic benefits. Because of this change, our fewer number of Council municipalities are more economically viable and focussed.
For 12 years Hobart has remained the flavour. And members of the Property Council of Australia are excited about another ten years of economic, social and cultural growth.
And what about the Tasmanian Devils FC...making the AFL finals for the very first time...