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    Gavin Mooney

    While I agree with much of what you write, Martyn, I think we need to look at the Tasmanian situation and the Eurozone situation in different lights – but maybe not so different in some regards. With respect to Tasmania, this is a poor state and Colin Barnett’s parochialism and bellicose utterings from the West are at best unhelpful (and even reminiscent of Angela Merkel!). The Eurozone will break up – it was only a matter of time before the arrogance of its founders in creating it was exposed – but it is breaking up in disarray when an ordered collapse would be less destructive. What is needed is for political and economic energy to be put into devising what you rightly describe as ‘some very significant structural change’. If we had had the revenue from the original mining tax which Barnett and his mining cronies oppose so strongly, at least some of that could have helped the Tasmanian health care system.

    I can’t see Australia “breaking up” but the political principle of support from rich to poor, whether people or states, is in danger of being swept aside. That principle which is so important in the context of the social determinants of health needs to be protected.

    So what ought to be addressed in the interests of not just Tasmania but also the fabric of Australian federalism is the commitment to the principle of fairness across the states through e.g. the distribution of GST revenues.

    On the Tasmanian budget, I take your points about health care but if we extend the net to the social determinants of health, the budget comes out better on e.g. poverty and inequality.

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