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Living in Tasmania stories

The following stories relate to living in Tasmania

What a year!

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It’s been a great year for Tasmania. David Attenborough showcased our stunning island to a global audience of millions, a deal was struck for new Bass Strait ferries, while our whisky and wine shone on the world stage… and that’s just the start.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

Tassie Kangaroos bounce into history

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No Christmas rest for the stars of Tasmania’s first AFL team – The North Melbourne Tassie Kangaroos – with training in full swing as they get ready to create history in the New Year.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

Harvest Launceston reaps world acclaim

Launceston’s popular Saturday farmers’ market is already a hit with locals. But now it is also receiving praise on a global scale. Harvest Launceston has recently been listed by Traveller as one of the world’s top food experiences in 2018, ranking at number 54 on the list and being praised as, “the best place not just to buy farm-fresh ingredients, but also to meet the people behind the produce. The ready-to-eat stalls also use local ingredients: try the bacon and egg roll.” Harvest market manager, Kim Hewitt, told The Examiner only five other Australian experiences made the cut, which meant the listing was an “acknowledgement of the Tasmanian food industry as a whole. We’ve always wanted to showcase the best of Tasmania, and this does signify we’re doing that.”

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Tasmania Report is good news

As he launched the 2018 Tasmania Report, leading Economist Saul Eslake told his audience “most of this report is good news.” Eslake authored the eagerly anticipated TCCI annual report card on Tasmania and found the state’s economy “is on a roll". He said Tasmania recorded its fastest growth in a decade during the 2018 financial year: “For the first time in nine years, and only the fourth time in the past 25 years, Tasmania’s economy grew at a faster pace than that of Australia as a whole.” Eslake added that Tasmania’s boom was “broad-based”, and he singled out five stellar sectors: health care, manufacturing, mining, construction, and services dealing in the professional, scientific and technical sectors. Eslake attributed economic growth to external factors, such as a lower Aussie dollar and rebounding Chinese exports but added “the present state government can also claim a share of the credit". He drew attention to big infrastructure spends, such funding for dams, and higher levels of migration to Tasmania from both overseas and interstate. However, in his fourth Tasmania Report, Eslake raised concerns that “Tasmanians’ material living standards are, on average, significantly lower than those of other Australians.” To counter this, he said the State Government should consider bold tax reforms and suggests replacing stamp duties with a more broadly based land tax. Eslake also stated that boosting education retention rates must be a top priority.

You can download the 2018 Tasmania Report from the TCCI website, or the link: http://www.tcci.com.au/TCCI-Tasmania-Report-2018

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Parliament passes Brand Tasmania Bill

History has been created. The Brand Tasmania Bill was passed with strong tri-partisan support, so, Brand Tasmania is now a Statutory Authority. This is an Australian first, and the start of an exciting era, with Premier Will Hodgman saying: “The passage of the Brand Tasmania Bill 2018 through Parliament marks a major point for one of our most important and valuable assets, our brand. The Bill establishes the new statutory authority, Brand Tasmania, which, with more resources and capacity, will have a stronger ability to promote and protect our brand, and ensure Tasmania continues to stand out from the pack.” The Premier added that his Government is committed to expanding international markets to assist local businesses in exporting their world-class goods and services globally: “This is an exciting time for our State, and the Government is committed to promoting Tasmania to the world, to open up new markets, support local business, and create even more local jobs.” Brand Tasmania Executive Director, Robert Heazlewood, is thrilled that all three Tasmanian political parties enthusiastically supported the new statutory authority. He said across-the-board agreement shows that this is the right move to take Tasmania’s precious brand into the future: "It builds on the work of a small team who did an amazing job with limited resources, and the plan is to move forward developing new partnerships while strengthening existing relationships." It is also history in the making. Tasmania is the first Australian state or territory to have a statutory authority devoted to its brand, and only the second in the world.

7 December 2018, Edition 201

Housing booms in regional Tassie

Latest figures show Tasmania’s regional areas are now sharing the housing boom. Hobart still leads Australia as the country's hottest property market, but that has spread out to the rest of the state. In the 12 months to October, CoreLogic data found Hobart’s housing prices increased by 9.7 per cent, with the median value of a house now sitting at $445,655 – that’s higher than Adelaide and Darwin and with the gap quickly closing on Perth. However, the gain was even higher outside the southern capital, where regional dwelling values jumped by an impressive 11.4 per cent. Tasmania’s best regional performer was the South-East where house prices rose 11.6 per cent. CoreLogic Head of Research, Tim Lawless, said: “Both Hobart and regional Tasmania continue to record strong housing market conditions driven by robust housing demand coupled with a shortage of supply.”

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Economy powers ahead

The latest CommSec Report shows Tasmania’s economic fortunes continue to rise. The analysis of eight key indicators – including retail spending, unemployment and population growth – found that the island state still has the fourth-strongest economy in Australia but was closing in on the ACT. More significantly, Tasmania topped all other states in economic growth, business investment, housing finance and dwelling commencements. Another highlight was population growth which currently sits at 1.02 per cent and is almost 78 per cent above the state’s average over the past decade. CommSec chief economist, Craig James, told ABC News: “I think Tasmania is finally finding its mojo…you’ve got a tremendous product in terms of tourism, and I think that the rest of the world is starting to embrace that. Certainly, more are coming from other parts of Australia to Tasmania, and once there, a number of them are saying ‘this is a good spot to live’.”

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Tassie Kangaroos jump at North Hobart

Tasmania’s spiritual home of football – North Hobart Oval – will host the curtain raiser for the state’s new elite women’s football team, the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos. It was only this year that North Melbourne was added to the AFLW competition, and the team is a joint venture between the club and the Tasmanian Government. North Melbourne Chief Executive, Carl Dilena, told Brand Tasmania that this historic move was a natural extension of the club’s established partnership with the island state: “Our aim is for half the team to be from Tasmania. We will have a squad in Tasmania, and a squad in Melbourne, and they will come together for games.” He also pointed out that women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the country, with the North Melbourne Tasmanian Tigers providing an important pathway for talented local players: “We are putting a lot of effort into developing talent through academy programs, and also talent ID programs. This is a massive thing for Tasmania’s up and coming football players.” With eight Tasmanian players already signed up with the new elite team, that pathway is already well under way. 

9 November 2018, Edition 200

Trekking across Tassie

After three years of planning, Andy Szollosi, has successfully completed a long-held ambition: to walk the entire length of Tasmania – diagonally. His 84-day hike saw him traverse Tasmania from the south-east corner to the north-east tip. It began at South East Cape with Szollosi following the ridge-lines of the south coast mountains to the Tarkine, before finishing up at Woolnorth Point in the state's northwest. Originally from Hungary, the 30-year-old moved to Tasmania five years ago, and admitted his adventure was not without its hazards. He told The Mercury: “I became pinned down by a storm at Mount King William in the Central Highlands and had to get airlifted to safety, but I was determined to finish my journey…The average walker would probably die on such a trip, so I wouldn’t recommend the journey to anyone without years of walking experience."

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Population fires economy

Tasmania’s boom continues. The state has the fastest growing economy in Australia according to the latest CommSec State of the States report. In fact, the quarterly report found the growth rate over the past year was double the national average – and up 7.5 per cent on the year before. Population growth, most notably a strong net interstate migration, and the resultant increased demand for housing, are listed as key triggers. According to Tasmanian Treasurer, Peter Gutwein: “Population growth is also the highest it’s been in nearly eight years, as more people than ever choose Tasmania as the place to live, work and raise a family.” He adds the report found that Tasmania’s population growth is almost 65 per cent above the decade-average rate. Comparing economic performance across the country, CommSec ranked Tasmania at fourth place. Victoria has moved into top spot, followed by NSW then the ACT.

13 August 2018, Edition 197

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Facts about Tasmania

Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia, located at latitude 40° south and longitude 144° east and separated from the continent by Bass Strait. It is a group of 334 islands, with the main island being 315 km (180 miles) from west to east and 286 km (175 miles) north to south.

Tasmania

Tasmanians are resourceful and innovative people, committed to a continually expanding export sector. In 2012–13, international exports from the state totalled $3.04 billion. USA, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and other Asian countries account for the bulk of exports, with goods and services also exported to Europe and many other regions.

Geography

Tasmania is similar in size to the Republic of Ireland or Sri Lanka. The Tasmanian islands have a combined coastline of more than 3,000 km.

Geography

The main island has a land area of 62,409 sq km (24,096 sq miles) and the minor islands, taken together, total only 6 per cent of the main island’s land area. The biggest islands are Flinders (1,374 sq km/539 sq miles), King, Cape Barren, Bruny and Macquarie Islands.

Geography

About 250km (150 miles) separates Tasmania’s main island from continental Australia. The Kent Group of Islands, one of the most northerly parts of the state, is only 55km (34 miles) from the coast of the Australian continent.

Climate

Twice named ‘Best Temperate Island in the World’ by international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, Tasmania has a mild, temperate maritime climate, with four distinct seasons.

Climate

In summer (December to February) the average maximum temperature is 21° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). In winter (June to August) the average maximum is 12° C (52° F) and the average minimum is 4° C (40° F). Snow often falls in the highlands, but is rarely experienced in more settled areas.

Annual Rainfall

Tasmania’s west coast is one of the wettest places in the world, but the eastern part of the State lives in a rain-shadow. Hobart, the second-driest capital city in Australia, receives about half as much rain as Sydney.

Annual Rainfall

Annual rainfall in the west is 2,400 mm (95 inches), but hardy locals insist there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing. If you travel 120 km east to Hobart, you experience a much drier average of 626 mm (24 inches) a year.

Population

The 512,875-strong community spreads itself across the land; less urbanised than the population of any other Australian state. Hobart, the capital city, is home to more than 212,000 people.

Capital City

Hobart nestles at the foot of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (1,270 m / 4,000 ft) and overlooks the Derwent Estuary, where pods of dolphins and migrating whales are sometimes seen from nearby beaches. Surrounded by thickly forested rolling hills, the city is home to the state parliament and the main campus of the University of Tasmania.

Capital City

Its historic centre features Georgian and Regency buildings from colonial times. Hobart is home port for coastal fishing boats, Antarctic expeditions and vessels that fish the Southern Ocean.

Land Formation

Mountain ranges in the south-west date back 1,000 million years. Ancient sediments were deeply buried, folded and heated under enormous pressure to form schists and glistening white quartzites.

Land Formation

In the south-west and central highlands, dolerite caps many mountains, including Precipitous Bluff and Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt Ossa (1617 m / 5300 ft). More than 42 per cent of Tasmania is World Heritage Area, national park and marine or forest reserves.

Flora

Vegetation is diverse, from alpine heathlands and tall open eucalypt forests to areas of temperate rainforests and moorlands, known as buttongrass plains. Many plants are unique to Tasmania and the ancestors of some species grew on the ancient super-continent, Gondwana, before it broke up 50 million years ago.

Flora

Unique native conifers include slow-growing Huon pines, with one specimen on Mt Read estimated to be up to 10,000 years old. Lomatia tasmanica, commonly known as King’s holly, is a self-cloning shrub that may well be the oldest living organism on earth. It was discovered in 1937.

Fauna

Tasmania is the last refuge of several mammals that once roamed the Australian continent. It is the only place to see a Tasmanian devil or eastern quoll (native cat) in the wild and is the best place to see the spotted-tailed quoll (tiger cat), all carnivorous marsupials.

Fauna

The eastern bettong and the Tasmanian pademelon, both now extinct on the Australian continent, may also be observed.

Fauna

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was Australia’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial and is a modern day mystery. The last documented thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and although the animal is considered extinct, unsubstantiated sightings persist.

History and Heritage

Aboriginal people have lived in Tasmania for about 35,000 years, since well before the last Ice Age. They were isolated from the Australian continent about 12,000 years ago, when the seas rose to flood low coastal plains and form Bass Strait.

History and Heritage

Descendants of the original people are part of modern Tasmania’s predominantly Anglo-Celtic population.

History and Heritage

Tasmania was originally named Van Dieman’s Land by the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642. The island was settled by the British as a penal colony in 1803 and the original name was associated with the convict era. It was changed to Tasmania when convict transportation stopped in 1853.

Economy

A resourceful island culture has generated leading-edge niche industries, from production of high-speed catamaran ferries and marine equipment to lightning-protection technology.

Economy

Tasmanians produce winches and windlasses for some of the world’s biggest ocean-going pleasure craft; large-scale inflatable evacuation systems and provide specialist outfit-accommodation services to the marine industry.

Economy

The Wooden Boat Centre at Shipwrights Point has re-established the skills and traditions of another age and attracts students from around the world.

Economy

Tasmania is a world leader in natural turf systems for major sporting arenas and in areas of mining technology and environmental management. Its aquaculture industry has developed ground-breaking fish-feeding technology and new packaging.

Economy

Tasmanians sell communications equipment to many navies and their world-class fine timber designers and craftsmen take orders internationally for furniture made from distinctive local timber.

Economy

The state is a natural larder with clean air, unpolluted water and rich soils inviting the production of 100 varieties of specialty cheeses, as well as other dairy products, mouth-watering rock lobsters, oysters, scallops and abalone, Atlantic salmon, beef, premium beers, leatherwood honey, mineral waters, fine chocolates, fresh berry fruits, apples and crisp vegetables.

Economy

Tasmania is a producer of award-winning cool-climate wines, beers, ciders and whiskies. Other export products include essential oils such as lavender, pharmaceutical products and premium wool sought after in Europe and Asia. Hobart is a vital gateway to the Antarctic and a centre for Southern Ocean and polar research.

Economy

The industries in Tasmania which made the greatest contribution to the State’s gross product in 2010–11 in volume terms were: Manufacturing (9.4%), Health care and social assistance (8.2%), Financial and insurance services (7.2%), Ownership of dwellings and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (each 7.1%).

Getting to Tasmania

Travel is easy, whether by air from Sydney or Melbourne, or by sea, with daily sailings of the twin ferries Spirit of Tasmania 1 and 2 each way between Melbourne and Devonport throughout the year.

This site has been produced by the Brand Tasmania Council © 2014

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