While the Tasmanian Government rejoices at the recent acceleration in the state’s population growth, planning expert Irene Duckett has labelled the population boom a “runaway train” with health services and roads struggling to cope with the increasing demand. From The ABC:
The warning came after the Federal Government announced plans to force migrants into regional areas to ease congestion issues in the major population centres such as Sydney and Melbourne.
But without appropriate forward planning, Ms Duckett said, Tasmania would face similar problems, with its already strained health, housing and transport sectors coming under even more pressure.
“If we increase the number of overseas migrants coming to Tasmania, if they’re not redirected or planned for in particular areas, we’re going to see massive growth happening in Hobart at a much faster rate than anywhere else,” she said.
“At the moment, I feel like we’re a runaway train … it’s all happening, and we’re chasing it, but no one’s driving”…
Recently, the state has faced a housing crisis with extremely low vacancy rates and dramatic increases in rental prices. In addition, the Royal Hobart Hospital and Launceston General Hospital emergency departments have struggled to cope with demand, and traffic congestion issues were felt in Hobart…
“At the moment, I just see a tourism strategy that’s trying to increase numbers with no integration with the population strategy or a settlement strategy”…
Labor spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said Tasmania was already struggling to support its own population.
“How can we possibly support an enormous growth in population when we can’t even provide those services to our own population?” she asked.
“We have people living in tents at the showgrounds and in people’s backyards, we’ve got a crisis at the hospital where we’ve got ambulances ramped every day and mental health patients sleeping on the floor in our emergency department.”
Welcome to the East Coast population ponzi, Tassie, and all the ‘vibrancy’ that it brings: crush-loaded roads, hospitals and amenity, not to mention unaffordable housing. This is your future as well.