1. That all schools; rural, regional or urban provide education to year 12
2. That the provision of education services be demographically informed
3. That the provision of education be aligned with the industry make-up within the relevant rural, regional or urban context
4. That a first class transport service be provided to students
5. That education services be integrated with LINCs, post-school education providers (vocational and tertiary) and other education and training providers.
6. That other public services be integrated with the provision of education so that employment opportunities and optimal health is ensured
7. That the provision of education services are integrated on a long term basis with the State and Regional Economic Development Plans as well as the Industry Diversification Plan resulting from the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement.
Historically, Tasmania has always experienced net migration losses in the younger education and working ages of 15 to 29 years as a direct result of a lack of education and employment opportunities. This is particularly exacerbated in rural and regional areas of the state where schooling is not often provided beyond year 10 and where there are no post-school education options at all. Yet, at the same time, much of the state’s contribution to economic growth is sourced from industries in these rural and regional areas. This results in a serious mis-match between supply of labour and demand for labour - particularly educated, skilled and experienced labour.
I believe that the above dot points can be achieved through a strategic approach to integrate education with economic development through the provision of infrastructure, services and amenities. Following the process of identifying potential industries and areas of economic growth, investment in ‘infrastructure hubs’ should be a priority. These hubs should include the provision of education to year 12 as well as vocational and tertiary (utilising LINCs and the NBN), health, transport and recreational services, including services such as aged, disability and child care and cater to the needs of the sub-population. The need for these hubs should be informed by the population demographics, the industry make-up and the prospects of the region.
An infrastructure hub approach to the provision of public services has the potential to provide opportunities to Tasmania and Tasmanians not previously possible, including reducing the disbursement of the population, the opportunity for critical mass and economies of scale.