Currently in Tasmania...
Australia is proudly the land of the Fair Go. But if you have a mental health issue or a disability in Tasmania, it’s a different story:
- Mental health: According to a report by Primary Health Tasmania, 38% of Tasmanians have been diagnosed with a chronic mental health condition, and that figure has been steadily growing since 2010 – and that doesn’t include the many who did not seek help.
- Disabilities: This is even worse! According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than one in four Tasmanians have a disability, higher than all other states and territories. For example, in 2011 more than 14,000 Tasmanians required assistance, but a third do not access services. We lack access to economic and social opportunity, and we lack self-confidence and a sense of agency.
- Suicide: In 2019, 108 Tasmanians took their own lives, 38 women and 70 men – two a week, every week.
- Housing: According to the Tenants Union, more than 3,800 individuals and families are on the waiting list for public housing. The average wait time is more than a year. Some will wait ten times that long. In Hobart, 12% of rental properties have been taken off the market and used for Air B&B, the highest rate in Australia.
Tasmania has a problem making space for everybody no matter what their ability or circumstance. People like me are ignored, or worse, shunned. Either way, we have no voice. We are less equal.
Meanwhile, many millions of dollars are being spent to subsidise large corporations who can well afford the costs of doing business. Their shareholders pocket the profits while ordinary Tasmanians like you and me suffer the costs of poorly funded health care: ramping ambulances and interminably long wait times for appointments, assessments, and procedures. This system is broken.
My Vision for Tasmania
Higher taxes won't fix our mental health and disability problems. We need fresh thinking and we need fair thinking. The funding already exists hidden away in subsidies to big businesses. These huge subsidies are funnelled into the pockets of big corporations long after they become profitable, and should be redirected back into communities for the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians.
Your vote for me is a vote for a fair go.