An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

Tasmania's population challenge

29 July 2019

In June Regional Development Australia (RDA) Tasmania hosted a population symposium in Launceston. The conference provided an opportunity to look at Tasmania’s population challenges, how this fits with the broader national environment and the sharing of what initiatives are planned for our regions.

Co-hosted with support of the Tasmanian Government Department of State Growth and the University of Tasmania Institute for Social Change, 125 delegates heard from speakers including labour market economist Ivan Neville, UTas demographer Dr Lisa Denny, case studies from recent arrivals to Tasmania, Australian and Tasmanian government initiatives, members of the business community and migrant support services.

Population growth in Tasmania has reached its strongest level in a decade with growth reaching 1.2%. The natural increase component has risen only slightly, but net overseas migration has grown over recent years, as had net interstate migration. The population growth across Tasmania is uneven, creating significant challenges.

For Regional Tasmania there are challenges as the population ages and the working age population shrinks. Attracting new, employable people to the regions has been identified as an action that needs to be addressed.

With unprecedented economic growth in Hobart, on the back of tourism, a vibrant city and the growth in International students, the challenge for urban growth is different again. This growth has put pressure in house prices/affordability and created a very tight rental market. Housing has become a major challenge within greater Hobart.

RDA Tasmania will now engage with delegates to identify the actions required to address the challenges. Presentations are available at RDA Tasmania.