Peter Gutwein’s departure from the Tasmanian Parliament not only leaves the Liberal government in disarray, it also leaves the state’s economic future under a massive cloud.
As well as being Premier for the past two years, Mr Gutwein has spent the past eight years as Treasurer and his decision to quit leaves an unholy mess facing his successor.
Mr Gutwein, with all his years of experience, has failed to deliver the basics over the past eight years, so what hope does our economy have under the tired and inexperienced Liberals who remain?
And, in spite of Peter Gutwein’s boasting and bluster about the state of Tasmania’s economy, it is clear that he is leaving a legacy of inaction, empty promises and economic mismanagement.
As well as failing to deliver what he promised to Tasmanians, Mr Gutwein leaves the job with a record $1.4 billion of debt locked in with the last budget and tracking Treasury’s worst case scenario of $30 billion of debt by 2034.
Not only that, but business confidence is down, business investment is down, consumer confidence is down and the state’s economy shrank last quarter when all other states grew.
The headwinds facing the state’s economy come at the same time as Tasmanians battle endless cost-of-living pressures while wages fail to keep pace with inflation.
This is not a booming economy as the soon-to-be former Premier and Treasurer has claimed. It is an economy in reverse and that is only going to hurt more and more Tasmanians unless it is dealt with effectively.
Under Peter Gutwein, the Liberals have failed to get the basics right on economic management and his departure leaves enormous problems and challenges to address.
Whoever succeeds Mr Gutwein as Treasurer, they have their work cut out for them.
Shane Broad MP