ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good Afternoon. Thanks very much for coming along today – my name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. I’ve just enjoyed a very productive round-table with my Tasmanian Labor colleagues. Colleagues who are focused on the long-term interests of Tasmania and making decisions that don't just focus on the next election, but on the needs of Tasmania over the next generation.
We've been speaking about the importance of investments in health and education. The importance of investment in infrastructure. There is a clear lesson out of the last federal election, in which the three Liberal amigos were replaced by three federal Labor members who are deeply engaged in their community and deeply committed to the long-term future of this great state.
At the last election, Bill Shorten took important infrastructure investments to the people of Tasmania – promising investments in the Inveresk campus of the University of Tasmania, promising to invest in a tourism infrastructure strategy and promising to invest in fixing up the sewerage works in Launceston in order to create jobs in the construction phase and opportunities for better urban living and tourism in Launceston.
I'm joined today by Bryan Green and Scott Bacon, who will talk in more detail about some of the issues that we've raised today, but I'm just one of a range of federal Labor frontbenchers who've had the pleasure of visiting Tasmania recently and spending time engaging with our Tasmanian Labor colleagues. Because when it comes to the future of Tasmania, Labor is singing from the same hymn sheet, committed to the long-term future of this state – a great future of jobs, of a strong healthcare system, a great education system and opportunities for export-led growth and engagement with the world.
I'll hand over now to Bryan Green.
BRYAN GREEN, LEADER OF THE TASMANIAN OPPOSITION: Thank you Andrew. It's great to have Andrew in Hobart to talk with us about the strategic and long-term future of our state. It follows on from the ALP's State Conference, where we talked about the policies that we are going to take to the next election in 2018 – concentrating on providing meaningful and worthwhile employment to Tasmanians, ensuring our health and education systems are fit for purpose, and making sure we always focus on those who are less well-off in the community. Those things were well-discussed today.
Our view is that if you want to provide long-term sustainable employment you have to do that off the back of sensible investment – like we did with the irrigation schemes, like we've done with the roll-out of the NBN, like we did right back in the early days of developing our hydro system. It's that sort of investment that will make a long-term difference to our state when it comes to employment. So we're really pleased to have Andrew here. It's this sort of collaboration between us and our federal colleagues that is going to allow us to take good policies – policies that are going to set Tasmania up well and truly into the future – to the next state election.