Labor’s Plan for the West Coast

Labor sees the enormous potential of the West Coast and it is determined
this region will have a bright future.

In contrast the Liberal Party has abandoned the West Coast.

Labor held its 2016 State Conference in Queenstown as a show of our
commitment to the region and its residents.

Labor has policies to improve the health and education of West Coast residents, to improve tourism to attract more visitors and to stimulate emerging and established industries, creating jobs for locals.

Labor will put people first by investing in community organisations on the
West Coast, improve services like policing and work with local government and
residents to continue to develop policies that are custom-made for the West
Coast

Rebecca White
Tasmanian Labor Leader

Labor’s Plan for Health

Health is Labor’s number one priority.

Labor is committed to keeping Tasmanians healthier for longer, treated faster
and home sooner.

By talking to people on the West Coast, Labor has developed policies to ease the difficulties West Coasters face accessing health care services.

A Majority Labor Government will improve health services for the West Coast by trialling improved free patient transport, extending the hours of operation
for community patient transport services and introducing medihotels.

Labor will trial a fixed transport service for two years, operating seven days
a week, between the Launceston General, Mersey and North West Regional
Hospital and patients’ homes on the West Coast for patients who are fit for
independent travel.

Labor will introduce medihotels in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie free of
charge for patients who do not require a hospital bed or acute care but may
need to stay close to the hospital while they wait for a script to be filled, an
outpatient appointment or a lack of transport options because of the time of
their discharge.

Tasmania’s first Medi-hotels will provide supported accommodation 24/7 and
cost less than a hospital bed.

Under Michael Ferguson these patients have been left out in the cold.

Labor will introduce new public mother and baby units on the North-West so young parents struggling with a new child at home can get support. Currently there is only one public mother and baby unit bed in the state, in Hobart.

Discharge rates are stalling over the weekends due to a lack of staff and services. Labor will fund hospitals to operate 7 days a week so people can get the services they need when they need them and extend community health nurses to seven days a week.

We will invest more in preventative health to keep people out of hospital and keep kids healthy with Active Kids – Active Communities grants for young people to participate in a local sport or recreation club.

Labor will reduce barriers for women and girls to participate in sport by building or improving change room facilities for girls and women.

We will lift vaccination and immunisation rates by making it easier for isolated children to access services and provide better continuity of care with improved child health checks and an app to keep track of child health appointments.

Labor’s Plan for Tourism

Under a Labor Government, West Coast tourism would be a key priority, rebuilding the region’s industry after it had been deserted by the Hodgman Liberal Government.

A Majority Labor Government will fully fund the Strahan Visitor Centre and Gordon River projects identified in the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania ‘Future Proofing Our Icons’ report.

The Strahan Visitor Centre is the third busiest visitor information centre in the state behind Hobart and Launceston and turns over $750,000 in bookings each year but the facility is in dire need of an upgrade.

The Sara Island project will further enhance the iconic Gordon River cruise experience by upgrading signage, pathways and shelters.

On top of backing the two projects, Labor will also commit $50,000 for a West Coast tourism brand strategy for the entire West Coast to ensure this remarkable region gets the attention it deserves.

A Regional Airport feasibility study for Strahan which could help attract new visitors to the region, as well as servicing the aquaculture industry.

Labor will conduct a regional airport feasibility study for Strahan and refurbish the Lake Margaret Power Station.

Unlike Will Hodgman and the Liberals, Labor is committed and serious about giving the people of the West Coast a genuine helping hand and delivering jobs in industries like tourism which is critical to the region’s revitalisation.

Tourism and events are exposing this region to an entirely new audience and we need to ensure that this newfound interest is matched with investment in visitor infrastructure.

We will work with local government, residents and key stakeholders to formulate a West Coast Tourism Masterplan.

Labor’s West Coast Tourism Masterplan will follow the successful model of the Cradle Mountain Masterplan by setting clear priorities for investment in public infrastructure that will unlock millions of dollars’ worth of private capital.

And we will partner with the West Coast Council to jointly fund an Economic Development, Tourism and Events Coordinator to ensure the plan is delivered.

Labor’s Plan for Jobs

While Tourism is an important economic driver for the West Coast, Labor
understands the need to diversify the West Coast’s economy, balancing
tourism with traditional and emerging industries.

Labor will partner with the West Coast Council to jointly fund an Economic
Development, Tourism and Events Coordinator to help draw more investment
to the West Coast.

Labor will establish the Regional Development Unit to identify economic and
job opportunities, facilitate investment and provide a direct link between
business and Government in regional areas of Tasmania.

Labor wants to ensure that our agriculture and primary industries are
recognised as a critical part of Tasmania’s brand which is why we will provide
$500, 000 for professional marketing of our primary industries through Brand
Tasmania

Labor will ensure the salmon industry can continue to grow sustainability and
maintain the confidence of the community through stronger regulation for
salmon leases.

Over three successive mining ministers during the life of the Hodgman government so far, there has been no plan for rebuilding the mining industry that is so critical for the West Coast.

Labor has a comprehensive plan for mining in Tasmania:

  • Mobile case managers will be appointed within Mineral Resources Tasmania to guide proponents of new mines through the exploration, planning, approvals and establishment process.
  • Establishing a Special Mining Zone over the Mt Lyell Mine lease to cut red tape for exploration and mining activity while ensuring that environmental controls and operating conditions are complied with.
  • Labor will bring old mines back to life through a royalty holiday for proposals that involve rehabilitating old mine sites and tailings.

Labor’s Plan for Communities

Boost for RSL Funding

Labor recognises the important work tat the Returned Services League does
in supporting our veterans and our communities.

That is why we are providing the Queenstown, Rosebery and Zeehan RSLs
each with an additional $100,000 every year to continue to meet the needs of
our servicemen and women.

Investing in Neighbourhood Houses

Labor will ensure the Zeehan and Rosebery Neighbourhood Houses can
continue to empower their communities through an increase in recurrent
funding to $45,000 in addition to $2 million in investment in capital upgrades
to improve Neighbourhood House infrastructure and stimulate local jobs.

More Police on the Beat

Labor has listened to communities who want actual police on the ground in
their towns.

That will be delivered under Labor’s plan to recruit additional officers with a
focus on rural and regional Tasmania.

Labor will take police officers off court security duties in the North and North West, putting them back on the beat in communities like the West Coast.

Labor will place 57 more police officers back on the beat in Tasmania – where they belong – with more police presence in regional towns and communities,
including the West Coast.

Every Tasmanian needs to feel safe in their home, safe in their workplace, safe
to go about their business, safe to walk on the streets and know that their
families are safe in every community.

Support for Festivals

Labor recognises the importance of dynamic festivals like Unconformity to
Tasmania and we have committed to support these festival to assist with their
financial stability and deliver ongoing success.

Labor’s Plan for Education

Labor will make Tasmania the Education State and provide better opportunities for young Tasmanians. Labor has a plan to ensure all Tasmanian kids have access to the best possible education from the early years to higher education and training.

Labor will do this through:

  • Restoring pathway planning in our schools so our young people can have a proper pathway from school to work.
  • Improving the skills of Tasmanians through restoring confidence in TasTAFE
  • Building new six child and family centres to give our kids the best start in life
  • Continue to fight any attempts to lower the school starting age which would have disastrous effects.
  • Reviewing the cost to families from government education.
  • Review and transition away from outdated IQ based funding system for students with a disability to truly needs-based funding.

Labor’s Plan for the Future

Roads

A majority Labor Government will commit $3.5 million to improve the road between Strahan and Zeehan and the Murchison Highway, improving road access on and to the West Coast.

Labor has been talking to community groups, local councils and the RACT in order to prioritise the best way to allocate funding. As a result of those conversations, Labor has committed to:

  • $2 million worth of vital resurfacing works on Henty Road, from Henty River to Strahan.
  • $1.5 million to install passing lanes on the Murchison Highway to improve safety.

NBN

The federal government must stop stalling and immediately begin the rollout of NBN to the West Coast.

An immediate start would bring workers to the West Coast to stimulate local business in the short term. In the long term it will set up places like Queenstown to be at the cutting edge of technology, helping local business tap into the benefits the NBN offers.

Federal and State Labor are committed to providing the West Coast will a full NBN service, with federal Labor committing $30 million for the project, and call on the four Braddon Liberal MPs to join with Labor where their Federal colleagues have been so conspicuously silent