TasCOSS MEDIA RELEASE: 2021 State Election priorities

8 April 2021

TasCOSS today released its 2021 State Election priorities, focussing squarely on the need for more jobs, affordable housing and improved health outcomes for all Tasmanians.

TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said the election saw Tasmania poised at a pivotal juncture, a time when our economic and social recovery from COVID-19 hinges on decisive actions from government.

“Tasmanians need a government that is committed to reducing poverty and inequality in our society so that everyone can live a good life,” Ms Picone said.

“Tasmanians have consistently told us that in order to live a good life they need to be able to afford the basics, have a healthy body and mind and a place to call home. TasCOSS challenges the next political leaders of Tasmania to recognise and address these key needs in shaping the future of our state.

“During this election campaign, TasCOSS is calling on all political leaders to commit to creating jobs for local people and to partnering with the community services industry to deliver 4,000 new jobs to address workforce needs.

“The community services industry is the largest employer and the fastest growing industry in Tasmania and at present, the industry requires an additional 4,000 jobs by 2024 just to meet escalating community need.

“With the impact of COVID-19 on our local communities, many Tasmanians accessed support and assistance for the first time in their lives, which has meant that many organisations delivering community services are now struggling just to keep up with demand.

“This presents the next State Government with a significant opportunity to attract, recruit and train local people to fill these projected job openings.”

Ms Picone said a healthy, housed and supported population was the cornerstone to the state’s return to growth and economic success.

“As such TasCOSS is calling on all political leaders to commit to increasing their investment in social housing, including meeting an affordable housing target of 10% of all dwellings and the delivery of 1,000 more dwellings each year over the next decade,” she said.

“A more affordable, secure and fair rental market is also key to this approach, which is reflected in our call for a review of the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 to ensure tenants are not evicted into homelessness.

“A good life for all Tasmanians also means having the support needed to live a healthy life.

“Which is why we are calling on a commitment from all political leaders to develop and implement programs that significantly reduce potential preventable hospitalisations over the next three years and preserving 5% of the overall health budget for direct spending on preventative-primary care.

“TasCOSS also wants to see the adoption of a Health in All Policies approach, framework and action plan, and moving forward, a commitment from the next State Government to ensuring they access all currently unused Commonwealth health funding.”

Ms Picone said after navigating a global pandemic, what we have seen in Tasmania was a shift around what is really important in our lives — that being our health and wellbeing, having a secure job and a place to call home.

“TasCOSS is calling on the next State Government to step up and commit to ensuring these basic needs are met,” she said.

“Should the major political parties make it a priority, we can forge a new future for our state which is characterised by brave and compassionate leadership.”

TasCOSS’s five key election priorities:

  1. Meaningful, secure jobs for local people in the community services industry
  2. A secure, affordable home for all
  3. Accessible health care that is close to home
  4. Closing the digital divide so no one is left offline
  5. Delivering lower household electricity bills

Find out more about TasCOSS’s election priorities (PDF, 2.88MB).

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview with TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone:

  • Lucinda Szczypior, 0438 280 486 or via email.