Christmas is almost on us.
For many this has been a difficult year. It certainly hasn’t been easy. Disruptions to our normal way of life from COVID lockdowns have meant significant disruption to business and new working-from-home style environments. Schooling of our kids has been an issue and the continuing commentary around health services has many of us worried. Added to which the extraordinary lift in the price of housing have forced many of us to cut our cloth to suit these changing circumstances.
So what might 2022 hold in store for us, and who better to ring in the changes than Santa? So we asked what Santa might be able to bring us that would make 2022 a more normal year.
At a Federal level
We want the management of COVID to be taken out of the political spin cycle and to ensure the proper testing protocols are in place, for both interstate and international passengers.
Security breeds confidence. A stable economic environment demands a more normal and consistent policy direction. Work for so many of us needs to become normalized and by that we mean stepping away for casual arrangements to a more permanent wage and engagement structure.
A Federal election will be held early next year and the one thing the country needs is a government with a firm majority. Barking from the sidelines with black and yellow posters crying ”Freedom” is nothing more than a disruption with the clear aim to tear down and not build. We need builders, people that can unite us and take us forward.
Tasmania is bogged down with complex planning laws that not even lawyers can understand. The time has come to simplify and streamline planning requirements and structures. Proper planning should be regional in nature, and if Council amalgamation is off the agenda, then planning should be removed from Council control. So much money is being wasted on ridiculous requirements, such as $60,000 to remove a tree.
Although the housing market has been extraordinarily buoyant, demand has far outstripped supply, and this has had serious consequences. More and more people are resigning themselves to the fact they will never own their own dwelling, and those who are presently renting are facing an environment where they may not have a place in which to live.
Santa, you know that having a situation where the elderly and disadvantaged are sleeping in cars or in welfare shelters is not the mark of a caring and civilized society. Government simply must step into the breach and manage accommodation options with far more enthusiasm and vigour.
The buoyant housing market has provided a windfall for State Treasury with conveyancing receipts going through the roof. But as we have argued before, conveyancing simply lifts the cost of buying a house, and a broadly based state land tax is a far better option for government to choose.
The construction sector is facing boom times and the sector is now facing chronic problems in the supply of labour and materials. TAFE, whatever its final structure, needs to be more closely connected with the sector it is meant to be serving, and to produce fully and practically trained people to ensure the sector does not falter.
The University has made moves to re-site itself in the city centre. But it is being done in a way that has people confused and uncertain. Hopefully the New Year will see both the Uni and the Council take a more integrated approach to this matter, and be able to demonstrate the benefits, not just to the university committee but to the broader community as a whole.
Council readily acknowledges and promotes the fact that there will be more people wanting access to the services a major centre can provide. Council MUST get off its hobby horse of putting everyone on bicycles and public transport. Commuters, including Uni personnel – staff and students – will use their private vehicles to move around, and will require easy access to the city to do so.
North Hobart Football Club
Santa, could you please look favourably on the fans of this great club, and have them win a few games in 2022, and play finals.
And to you…
May we all have a calm and peaceful time over the Christmas period, sharing our time with family and friends, and may we, with Santa’s help. look forward to a brighter 2022.