Growth challenge in the spotlight at Population Symposium

Posted: 27th Jun

A Population Symposium hosted by Regional Development Australia on Wednesday was attended by 120 people, looking to discuss the state's future. 

Tasmania has the fastest growing ageing population of any Australian state, RDA Tasmania chief executive Craig Perkins said.

"A lot of people are going to leave the workforce; and as we get older, too, the community and social support around health and education changes," he said.

Health care and social assistance has become the largest job provider and the second largest economic contributor in Tasmania over the past ten years, according to the UTAS Institute of Social Change. 

A the same time, a larger number of young people are moving to Tasmania than ever before.

The question of how to entice enough young people to the state, to balance out the numbers of older people who are not in the workforce, is not an easy one, Mr Perkins said.

"People are looking for a simple solution for the changing nature of population, and the reality is there is no simple solution," he said.

"Certainly there's an opportunity for young families, and working people, to come to Tasmania, and we have seen some change in that in recent times. The question is, how do we make sure we have the social infrastructure around to support them.

"And all of regional Australia is facing the same challenge. It's a long-term focus - you aren't going to see change tomorrow."

Source: Frances Vinall - The Examiner -