Wednesday 30 November 2005


Mr FINCH (Question) - Mr President, I would like to ask a series of questions to the Leader. First, does the Government have a strategic plan embracing most activities of the State Government beyond this or the next State Budget? Second, what formal consultative process is in place outside Cabinet to continually review any State strategic plan? Third, is the State Government aware of the cabinet process operating in South Australia where an executive committee with members outside the Australian Labor Party make recommendations for the State's future?

Mr Harriss - Is that a job application?

Mr FINCH - And, fourth, if the answer to most of the above questions is no, will the State Government take a close look at the planning initiative of the South Australian Labor Government?

Mr AIRD - There are two answers to the member's question and I will read out the formal one.

Mr President, the Government has a number of strategic plans in place, which provide it with a framework for short, medium and long-term planning. These include Tasmania Together, the Industry Development Plan and fiscal strategy. The Government also has a number of partnership agreements with key stakeholders, which facilitate the achievement of economic, social and environmental goals.

Tasmania Together is the Tasmanian community's long-term social, economic and environmental plan and is a visionary statement for where Tasmanians want to be in 2020. Tasmania Together was developed following the most extensive community consultation process in Tasmania's history. It set 24 goals and 212 benchmarks aimed at creating a safer, fairer, more prosperous and environmentally sustainable State. The goals and benchmarks of Tasmania Together provide guidance to both government and non-government action and the targets establish a basis for measuring progress.

The Government's Industry Development Plan is the key strategic planning document on industry's development. It is a vehicle for an integrated response to the strategic priorities of government, including Tasmania Together, as well as priorities of industry and the community and is directed at maximising job creation, investment attraction, export growth, higher-value products and an enhanced skills base.

The Government has also adopted partnerships as a key platform for working with local communities and organisations to establish shared priorities and objectives and for implementing strategies that align resources and effort to achieve common goals. The fiscal strategy underpins and supports the Government's priority initiatives - Tasmania Together, the Industry Development Plan and partnership agreements - by providing a framework for the State's financial management.

With reference to the second question, the Government considers its consultation with the community as an important factor in determining the future development of this State. Each year, as part of the budget development process, the Government consults widely with a range of community organisations and the views of the broader community are considered by the budget subcommittee of Cabinet and are required to be taken into account by agencies during the preparation of their annual budget submissions. The State Government also holds a number of community forums each year. These forums provide an opportunity for cabinet ministers and members of the community to share ideas on how we can make Tasmania an even better place to live and discuss any issue that individuals wish to raise with their elected representatives. In addition, a number of formal review processes exist for the Government's key strategies.

In answer to the third question, the Government is aware of South Australia's strategic plan launched in 2004. It is also aware that it has a supposedly apolitical executive committee - the Strategic Plan Community Connection - that is responsible for engaging the community with the plan. In addition, the Government notes that Premier Rann announced in April this year that two non-elected individuals had joined Cabinet to provide input into how the South Australian Government can meet the targets of the strategic plan. In Tasmania, the Tasmania Together Progress Board performs these roles and the board reports to the Parliament biannually. Whilst the Government finds the recent developments in South Australia interesting, it notes that our whole-of-community strategic planning process, including Tasmania Together, the Industry Development Plan, the fiscal strategy and partnership agreement, has now been in place for over five years.

As outlined above, the process includes many opportunities for the views of the community to be taken into account in the planning for our State. It works well for Tasmania, just as I am sure that new planning processes introduced into South Australia will work for that State.