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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Congratulations To Access Economics - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Congratulations To Access Economics - Paul Lennon, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Embargoed till midnight

The Premier today said it was satisfying to see Access Economics finally admit it had been unfairly harsh in its predictions on the Tasmanian economy.

“Access has an unfortunate record of being the most pessimistic of all forecasters about Tasmania but I’m glad to see it is finally owning up to its mistakes and acknowledging what others already accept - that Tasmania’s is officially the strongest and fastest-growing economy in the nation,” Mr Lennon said.

“We’ve had 44 consecutive months of employment growth in Tasmania – a record that no other state can match and one that Access said could never happen.

“But we’ve proven them wrong and we will continue to do so.

“The Tasmanian economy grew twice as fast as the national economy last year and four times faster than New South Wales.

“For the first time in history, we lead Australia in economic growth.

“Tasmania has come a long way under stable, majority Labor Government over the last eight years and our progress has been difficult for some economic forecasters to keep up with.

“We accept that but it doesn’t mean we should ease up in our determination to encourage sensible development, attract more investment and create more jobs in Tasmania.

“It’s not often that we hear economists say they were wrong and for this we congratulate Access.

“I note, however, that Access still remains unconvinced about some aspects of Tasmania’s longer-term outlook and I look forward to proving them wrong once again.

“It seems they continue to make the fundamental mistake of assuming that Tasmania’s strong economic performance is due to cyclical factors, which ignores the underlying structural changes we have brought about that will benefit Tasmania over the long term.

“I’m happy to have this Government’s economic record compared with Access’ record of predicting Tasmania’s economic growth any time.”

For example, in September ‘03, Access acknowledged Tasmania’s economy was doing well but forecast weak conditions in future – even predicting negative jobs growth and weak economic growth in 2004-05.

However, ABS figures (and even Access’ own subsequent reports) prove how inaccurate these gloomy predictions were.

Access expected employment to grow by around 200 people between 2004-05 and 2005-06 – but in the six months to December ‘05 alone, average employment growth was 900 people per month.

“We have strong confidence in Tasmania that is being driven by record jobs growth, record population growth, record export growth and records in many other areas,” Mr Lennon said.

“There is no case for pessimism about Tasmania’s future and I encourage Access to spend a little more time seriously analysing the progress in Tasmania."

Further information: Tasmanian Government Communications Unit
Phone: (03) 6233 6573


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