By TONY FOSTER*
BY the time most residents read their delivered Brighton Community News, the state election will be run and won and hopefully, we will have a government installed in Hobart, energised and ready to take Tasmania forward for the next four years.
Irrespective of who is elected to the House of Assembly and who comprises the government, opposition and cross benches, all the elected MPs have an obligation to work in the best interests of our state. They have a responsibility to respect the community that has elected them to high office and to work cooperatively with the other tiers of government, particularly local government, to deliver the best outcomes for Tasmanians.
Importantly, those in government must honour the commitments made to the people of Tasmania over the course of the past six weeks or so.
The election campaign saw promises amounting to billions of dollars made to electors in all corners of the State. Now they have to be delivered – and paid for!
While the election campaign may have emphasised the differences between the political parties, our elected politicians now have an obligation to work together to achieve the best for Tasmania. This is particularly so in areas such as health and education, where unfortunately Tasmanians do not always enjoy the same resources and outcomes as their interstate counterparts. We need improvements and the next four years will be telling.
For the Brighton municipality, perhaps the most important election promise was that of the Liberals to spend $30 million to build a high school in the Brighton township. This followed Labor’s commitment, not of money, but for an investigation into the establishment of a new high school.
Brighton Council and many in our community have been working for some time to see a high school developed at Brighton to support the excellent work of the Jordan River Learning Federation and the Farm School.
National education standards show that the anticipated population growth over the next decade or so, will see the Brighton Municipality actually require the equivalent of 2.5 high schools, so the election promises are timely.
Brighton and the surrounding area is one of the fastest growing regions of the state and the biggest brake on our development is the lack of a high school offering education for years seven to 12. This should now be remedied in the next few years and Brighton will become an even more attractive residential option for families with school-age children.
While I am sure people in communities around the state will want to see the elected Government’s commitments delivered as soon as possible, Brighton Council will take an extremely close interest in the early delivery of the high school promise.
As a first step, as soon as the new Government is sworn in, we will seek early talks with the Education Minister to establish a firm timetable for the development. And we won’t rest until the work is completed, the doors open and the first students are admitted.
This is a vitally important initiative for our community and we will not relax until the election promises become a reality.
For our politicians, the election is not just the end of the campaign. It is the commencement of four years of hard work. They must now deliver on the promises and commitments made to the electorate during the course of the campaign and work to deliver effective and appropriate outcomes for our State.
The people of Tasmania expect and deserve nothing less.
On behalf of the Brighton Council and our community, I congratulate all those candidates elected to our new parliament. We now look forward to the delivery of the promises and your positive leadership to take Tasmania forward over the next four years.
*Tony Foster AM OAM JP is Brighton Mayor