Jurisdiction Project


Tasmania is the smallest of Australia’s 6 states.

Tasmania is an inactive volcanic landmass with mountains (the Central Highlands) covering most of the central west of the state, flat Midlands used primarily for agriculture in the central east, and dense forest in the south-west region, containing some of the last temperate rainforests in the southern hemisphere. There are four main rivers: the Derwent and Huon Rivers in the south, and the Tamar and Mersey Rivers in the north. The highest point is Mt. Ossa, at 1,617 m.

Tasmania lies 240 km south of eastern Australia, separated from it by the Bass Strait.

Latitude and Longitude:
42 53 S, 147 19 E

Time Zone:
GMT +10

Total Land Area:


Hot, dry, and windy summers (December to February), and cold, rainy winters (June through August). Average temperatures are 12 degrees C in winter and 21 degrees C in summer. Rainfall varies from 626 mm in Hobart to 2,400 mm on the west coast. The east coast is generally warmer and milder than the rest of the island.

Natural Resources:
Fertile soil, copper, zinc, tin, iron, marine resources.


Total GDP:
2000 8,983,763,900.00 USD
2001 9,325,324,200.00 USD
2002 9,374,836,400.00 USD

Per Capita GDP:
2001 18,521.00 USD
2002 19,747.00 USD
2003 20,956.00 USD

% of GDP per Sector:
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2001 6% 21% 73%
2002 6% 21% 73%

% of Population Employed by Sector
  Primary Secondary Tertiary
2003 10.7% 27.5% 61.8%

External Aid/Remittances:
Tasmania receives large amounts of its revenues from federal grants. In the late 1990’s such grants composed 42% of state and local revenues.

Tasmania’s economy has been struggling since the early 1800s due to lack of federal infrastructure, lack of open immigration initiatives, lack of population, the decline in wool and mineral industries, the lack of colonial initiatives on the island, as well as a lack of foreign investment. The loss of a large percentage of the younger generation to mainland Australia has a considerable impact on the local economy. Mining, forestry, agriculture and tourism are the main economic activities, but there is also a strong environmental initiative on the island which comes into conflict with the industrial interests regularly and is seen as impeding economic growth. Over the last few years many national companies have started basing call centres in Tasmania. Tourism is an area that is being turned to increasingly to supplement and diversify the extractive industrial sectors.

Labour Force:
2001 373,900
2002 377,400
2003 382,800

Year: Unemployment Rate (% of pop.)
2001 8.9%
2002 8.8%
2003 6.9%

The main industrial sectors in Tasmania are mining, manufacturing, and energy production. In 1999/2000 there were 11 mining enterprises in Tasmania. The main minerals being produced are non-ferrous metals, mainly aluminum and zinc (as well as smaller amount of tin). Metaliferous ores and metal scrap are a smaller component of the mineral industry, including iron ore and concentrates, copper ores and concentrates, lead, zinc, tin, and manganese ores and concentrates, among others. In 2000/2001 mining accounted for 2.1% of Tasmania’s GSP. Employment in the mining industry has fallen over the last 20 years due to mine closures and the use of contractors. In 1999/2000, 1,103 people were employed in the mining industry. While mining does not contribute significantly to either GSP or employment directly, it contributes to the Tasmanian economy through taxes, and payments for the provision of services associated with the industry such as transport, electricity, etc. Mineral royalties (totaling 10.7 million Australian dollars) also contribute to the local economy. Exports of minerals exceeded 1 billion dollars in 2000/2001. The main manufacturing activities are metal product manufacturing, food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing, wood and paper product manufacturing, machinery and equipment manufacturing, petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing, and non-metallic mineral product manufacturing. Other things produced on a smaller is a smaller-scale are printing, publishing, and recorded media, textiles, clothing, footwear and leather products, among other things. Manufacturing contributed 13.7% to Tasmania’s GSP in 2003/’04. In 1998, the Hydro Electric Commission (HEC), a government enterprise, was split into three separate entities, the Hydro-Electric Corporation (Hydro Tasmania), responsible for the generation of electricity in Tasmania with 27 hydro, 1 thermal and 2 diesel power stations and wind farms; Transend Networks Pty Ltd, responsible for operating the electricity transmission system in Tasmania and for the transmission of electricity between power stations and the local distribution network; and Aurora Energy Pty Ltd, responsible for the distribution and retailing of electricity to users in Tasmania. Fish processing industry in Tasmania – most centres engaging in the most basic forms processing (cleaning, chilling, filleting, freezing, and packaging, with only a few having the facilities for major transformation of the product.

Niche Industry:
Tourism, mining, and forestry.

The service sector is the single most important contributor to the local economy both in terms of employment (73.2% of the population in 2002-2003), and in terms of contribution to GSP (Gross State Product) (56.6% in 2002-2003). Within the service sector, retail trade, health and community services, education, and property and business services employ the largest percentage of inhabitants (equivalent to 22%, 15.4%, 10.9%, and 10.3% respectively). The tourism industry is extremely important to the island’s service sector, attracting 703,100 visitors in 2002/2003. 83.3% of tourists were from Australia, and 16.7% from overseas. The largest groups of overseas visitors were from the UK, followed by North America and Continental Europe. Smaller numbers visited from Asia and New Zealand. Visitor expenditures in 2002/2003 totaled 945.3 million Australian dollars. In 2002 there were 140 hotels, motels, guesthouses and service apartments with 15 or more rooms or units in Tasmania, with a total of 5,797 rooms and 17,170 beds. Occupancy rate for 2002 was 53%. 92.8% of visitors to the island in 2002/2003 arrived by scheduled airline flights and Bass Strait ferries, 6.8% arrived by cruise ship, 0.4% by naval ship, and 0.1% arrived by Singapore charter flight. Main tourism activities are visiting craft shops, visiting national parks, browsing at markets, enjoying Tasmanian food and wine, visiting antique shops, gardens, museums, casinos, wineries, viewing wildlife, as well as backpacking, recreational fishing, playing golf, hiking, cycling, canoeing, sea kayaking, horse riding, scuba diving, snorkeling, among other things.


Imports and Exports:

NB: The discrepancy between imports and exports is partly due to the fact that the Australian Government only records goods imported that come directly into Tasmania from abroad and not those products entering the country through Australia which are later shipped to the island. Export figures are also distorted because exports to the mainland are not included.

Tot. Value of Imports 590,061,358.00 USD (2002)
From Eu:
Import Partners (EU:) Germany
Partners Outside EU: Indonesia, US, Denmark, Singapore
Import Partners: Indonesia (17.2%), Germany (14.9%), US (10.6%), Denmark (10.3%), Singapore (5.1%).
Tot. Value of Exports 1866838646 USD (2002)
To Eu: EU (8.8%) - specific countries unavailable
Export Partners: Japan (24%), Hong Kong (13.3%), ASEAN –Association of South East Asian Nations (12.3%), Korea (10.1%), USA (9.4%), EU (8.8%), Other, re-exports (6.4%), Taiwan (6.1%), New Zealand (2.4%), India (3.9%), China (3.3%).
Partners Outside EU:: Japan), Hong Kong Korea, USA
Export Partners:
Main Imports: Main Imports: Ships, boats and floating structures, pulp and waste paper, cocoa, petroleum and petroleum products, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, industrial machinery and equipment, power generating machinery and equipment, road vehicles, textiles, yarn, fabrics and related products.
Main Exports: Main Exports: Zinc, Aluminium, metalliferous ores and scrap, fish, crustaceans and molluscs, ships, boats, and floating structures, dairy products and eggs, wood and wood products, meat and meat preparations, vegetables and fruit, textile fibres and their wastes.



Number of Airports: 6
The 4 main airports include Hobart International Airport, Launceston Airport, Davenport airport and Burnie (Wynyard) Airport. There are also King Island Airport and Whitemark Airport on Flinders Island. Main domestic carriers serving Tasmania are Quantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Blue, which have direct flights to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide. There are also 5 regional airlines: Airlines of Tasmania, Island Airlines Tasmania, King Island Airlines, REX and Tasair. Air transport accounts for over 80% of passenger movements to and from Tasmania. Passenger Movement: Number % Hobart: 1,010,000 (56%); Launceston: 574,000 (31.8%); Devonport: 109,000 (6%); Wynyard: 89,000 (5%); Flinders Island: 7,000 (0.3%); King Island: 16,000 (0.9%); Cargo (‘02/’03): 131.1 inbound tonnes; 5,516.1 outbound tonnes. [NB: The discrepancy between inbound and outbound products in tonnage is due to the fact that the Australian Government only records the tonnage of goods imported that come directly into Tasmania from abroad and not those products entering the country through Australia which are later shipped to the island.]

Number of Main Ports: 8
Tasmania has 25 ports, 8 of which (Devonport, Launceston, Bell Bay, Burnie, Hobart, Port Latta, Triabunna and Risdon) are larger than the rest, and are the main freight ports. The Tasmanian Government-owned TT-Line runs ferries that connect Davenport and Melbourne. There are 14 crossings a week between Davenport and Melbourne, plus a new route as of 2004 between Davenport and Sydney. Other ferry services operate within the Tasmanian group of islands, including Bruny Island, Flinders Island, and Maria Island. Two container ships owned by Toll Shipping make daily crossing between Burnie (on the north-west coast), and Melbourne. Hobart serves as Australia’s main sea link to the Antarctic and South Pacific, and the Australian Antarctic Division is located in Kingston. Hobart also hosts visiting cruise ships. Bass Strait Ferries: Voyages (‘02/’03): 846; Passengers (‘02/’03): 504,350; Vehicles (‘02/’03): 210,194. Ships: Cargo throughput in mass tonnes (‘02/’03): Launceston: 5,297,470; Burnie: 3,883,532; Hobart: 3,154,687; Devonport: 3,181,597. Between 1998 and 2003 the total weight of maritime imports increased by 62.4%, and exports by 56.7%.



The primary form of transportation is car, although taxis, buses and motorcycles are also available. Bus services in Tasmania are provided by a number of private operators such as Tasmanian Redline Coaches, Tigerline, and Ace Coaches, as well as the state-owned Metro-Tasmania, and its subsidiary, Metro Coaches. The road system has been undergoing regular upgrades since the 1980’s, and in 2003 there were 24,253 km of road open to traffic. 13,129 km were gravel, crushed stone, or other improved surface; 10,485 km were bitumen or concrete, and 639 km were formed road. In 2003 there were 329,902 registered vehicles on the island. Tasmania has a rail network connecting all four major population centres to each other and to mining or forestry operations on the west coast and in the north-west. Passenger trains ceased running in 1977 so most trains are for freight, with the exception of tourist trains in specific areas.


Other Forms of Transportation:
Bicycles can be rented.

Economic Zones:
Tasmania is not being promoted as a completely tax-free zone in order to attract international investment, however the island does have limited tax concessions within certain sectors, as well as numerous assistance packages in others to provide incentives for foreign and national investment in science and technology, call and contact centres, information and communications technology, manufacturing and services, food and beverage industry, minerals and forest products, the multi-media industry development, and internet gaming. IT companies setting up business on the island can qualify for an exemption from payroll taxes. The government also highlights its low tax regimes overall, its strategic location for business, modern communications and energy infrastructure, pleasant climate and competitive labour costs.

Energy Policy:
Tasmania’s original energy source was hydro-power, and the state depended on this source until drought required the construction of Bell-Bay Power Station, an oil-burning power plant utilized to supplement hydro-electric power. Tasmania has committed itself to developing renewable energy infrastructure, and to updating all of its existent energy supply systems. Three projects are currently being undertaken to supplement the existent hydro-electric generators: Basslink, the Tasmanian Natural Gas Project (TNGP), and the development of Tasmania’s wind resource. Basslink is a high voltage transmission link that will link Tasmania’s electricity infrastructure to the mainland thereby enabling the island’s entry into the National Electricity Market (NEM). The project will facilitate the export of 600 MW of renewable power (during peak load periods) from Tasmania to Victoria, and the import of 300 MW (of mainly thermal power) from the mainland to the state grid if needed by late 2005. TNGP is an integrated natural gas transmission, distribution and retail industry that will connect Tasmania to the Australian natural gas network. Until recently, Tasmania was the only jurisdiction without access to natural gas. The project is intended to help diversify power supply and provide new areas for local development. By the spring of 2007, 38,500 households and businesses will have access to natural gas. In connection with this initiative, Bell Bay Power Station has been converted to a natural gas power station. It is to be used more as a constant supplier of energy and less to supplement supply. The island’s wind energy initiatives are based on King Island (Huxley Hill), and at Woolnorth Wind Farm in the northwest of the state. The Woolnorth Wind Farm, (the largest wind farm in Australia), is currently 65 MW, but this is expected to reach 138 MW by 2007. A number of other wind farms have been planned, including a 160 MW project at Heemskirk on Tasmania’s west coast, and a 120 MW project at Musselroe on the north-eastern tip of Tasmania. The island currently supplies 60% of Australia’s renewable energy.

Year Total Energy Production (Mwh) Thermic (Mwh) Geothermic (Mwh) Other (Mwh) Total Energy Consumption (Mwh) Domestic (Mwh) Commercial (Mwh) Public Service (Mwh) Industry (Mwh) Public Lighting (Mwh)


Official Currency:
Australian Dollar

Banking and Insurance:
Number of Banks and Credit Unions:
Number of Agricultural Credit Unions:
Number of Insurance Companies:

 The four major Australian banks, National Australia, Commonwealth, Westpac and ANZ all have branches throughout Tasmania. In addition there are a number of local banks and credit unions, the largest of which is Trust Bank. ATM machines are available throughout Tasmania. The islands has many national as well as state-based insurance companies.

Financial Services:
Financial services are extremely strong in Australia as a whole. It is the third-largest sector of the national economy. Many well-known national financial service firms are represented in Tasmania as well as locally established firms. The island is not, however, a financial centre like many other island jurisdictions.

Tasmania boasts one of the world’s most developed telecommunications infrastructure. All Tasmanian network sites have digital capability and are interconnected by digital transmission; and the state is connected to the mainland across the Bass Strait by fibre-optic cable which provides high-speed voice and data links to and from anywhere in the world. In 2003, 51% of households had computer access and 35% internet access. 62% had mobile phones. That same year, 83% of businesses had computer access, and 63% were on the internet. The communication services industry contributed 2.5% to Tasmania’s GSP. The federal government has been promoting the establishment of a number of call centres in Tasmania in order to take advantage of the island’s low setup costs and the availability of labour. There are currently a number of national as well as international company call centres on the island including Skilled Communications, and the Australian Taxation Office, in Burnie; Sitel Australia in Devonport; Vodafone, Qantas, Telstra, Centrelink, Commonwealth Bank, and Southern Cross Telco in Hobart; and Westpac, Telstra, and Centrelink in Launceston. In 2003, 19% of businesses had a web presence on the island. The University of Tasmania offers 7 IT degrees.

Public Ownership:
There do not appear to be any restrictions on foreign land ownership in Tasmania. There are three categories of land ownership: private, public, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Most land in Australia is privately owned.

Land Use:
Tasmania has a total of 19 national parks equivalent to 1,430,762 hectares, or 21% of Tasmania’s area. There are two World Heritage Sites in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Wilderness, listed in 1982, which covers 1.38 million hectares (approximately 20% of Tasmania), and Macquarie Island, listed in 1997. 1% of land is crops, 29.7% sown pastures and grasses, 23.4% agricultural land (total areas of establishments with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more), and 65.9% other (conserved land, forestry, urban and unused land, commercially unused land on Aboriginal and other Crown reserves and waste land, lakes, etc).

In 2003, Tasmania had 3.4 million hectares of forested land including 79,000 hectares of softwood plantation and 129,000 hectares of hardwood plantation. Approximately 30% of Tasmania’s forested land is privately owned, while 49% is State forest. Tasmania’s forestry industry is world-famous, activities connected to forestry including woodcraft, wood fuels, veneer manufacture and sawmilling, woodchip, pulp newsprint and paper-making. Leatherwood honey production, tourism, recreational and educational activities are also dependent upon the island’s forests. In 2000, wood and paper product industries generated 1,271 million dollars worth of revenue. Both the Commonwealth and the State pursue a forestry management policy that integrates environmental, commercial and community values and uses. Agriculture in Tasmania is composed of many plots carrying out mixed farming activities. Tasmania’s main agricultural crops are oil poppies for pharmaceutical use, barley for malting and stockfeed, oats, wheat, and triticale. The state is known for its apples, but other fruits, such as cherries and strawberries are also grown, as well as a number of vegetables including beans, carrots, onions, peas, potatoes, and grapes for wine. Livestock production is also an important component in the agricultural sector. The island’s greatest production in this sector comes from the raising of sheep for high-quality wool, live export, and meat for both the domestic and international markets. Cattle are farmed for meat for both domestic and international consumption, milk for the domestic market, and the production of cheese and butter. Pigs are also raised, on a much smaller scale. The growing of hay is the most significant cropping activity in Tasmania in terms of both area and production.

Marine Activity:

Fishing is an important economic sector in Tasmania both in terms of income as well as employment. There are two fisheries, the wild fishery and aquaculture. The wild fishery fishes mainly for abalone and rock lobster (which compose over 90% of the value of the wild fishery), as well as giant crab and other fish. Aquaculture concentrates on salmonids and pacific oyster, with smaller amounts of mussels, oysters, big-bellied seahorse, scallops and abalone, as well as ornamental aquarium fish. In 2002 there were 3,300 hectares of water available for marine farming and 190 licensed farms, as well as 19 freshwater farms. In 2002 the fishery brought in a total of 333.7 million dollars worth of revenues, an 8% increase from the previous year. The increase in value came from the aquaculture industry where the gross value of production increased by 24.1 million dollars. Seafood accounts for 7.3% of the value of Tasmania’s exports. The fishery accounts for an interesting jurisdictional claim as the state manages certain fisheries outside of the 3 nm state waters boundary. Tasmania in fact manages rock lobster, giant crab, and abalone out to the 200 nm limit of the Australian EEZ, or to the Tasmanian-Victorian border. Certain other species such as the mobile pelagic species are under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth. Recreational fishing is also popular with both islanders and visitors. In 2002, 40,437 marine recreational licenses were issued. In 2000/2001, 24,906 inland fishing licenses were issued (82.2% to Tasmanians, 17.4% to mainlanders, and 2.4% to foreigners).

Marine Life:
Marine commercial activities are on the increase in Tasmania. The numbers of recreational, fishing, government, and commercial and trading boats registered on the island have all been rising continuously. In 2001 there were 526 vessels registered. In 2002 there were 538, and in 2003, 561. In 2003, 48.7% of registered vessels were recreational, 40.5% were fishing, and 10.7% were commercial or trading. Marine Conservation: In 2002 there were 5 marine protected areas in Tasmania: Maria Island (1,500 ha), Governor Island (60 ha), Tinderbox (45 ha), Ninepin Point (60 ha), and Macquarie Island (74,715 ha). All of the marine protected areas apart from Maria Island permit no fishing at all.

Critical Issues:
Tasmania has a number of environmental issues such as freshwater contamination and marine pollution, erosion, estuarine siltation, and coastal destruction as a result of development, modification of water flow due to the construction of dams, and long-term climate change, among others.



Political System:
Tasmania is one of Australia’s 6 states. There are three levels of government affecting the state of Tasmania: the Commonwealth Government, with authority based on a written constitution and based in Canberra; the State Government, with power over those areas not reserved for the Commonwealth, centred in Hobart; and local government, with authority derived from state acts, and operating in 29 subdivisions of the state. The State Government’s legislature consists of a Governor, a Premier, a Legislative Council (15 members), and a House of Assembly (25 members). The Governor is the representative of the Sovereign in the state and exercises the powers of the Crown in state matters. The Governor is appointed for a five year term by the Queen (on the advice of the Premier). His/her powers include performing ceremonial functions as the representative of the Queen; summoning and terminating the Parliament; assenting to Bills; and opening each session of parliament. His/her executive powers include appointing ministers of the Crown, judges and other Ministry. The House of Assembly, together with the Legislative Council and the Governor, constitute the parliament, which is responsible for considering legislation, authorizing the raising of revenue and the expenditure of state money. The House of Assembly comprises 25 members elected for a term of four years from five-member electorates. The Legislative Council is composed of 15 members elected for a period of six years. The executive government is based on the Cabinet system, which operated mainly by means of constitutional conventions and understandings, and through institutions that do not form part of the legal structure of government. The executive power of the state is exercised by the Governor who is advised by and appoints the Executive Council. The Executive Council comprises all Ministers of the Crown, the Chief Justice and Judges from the Supreme Court. All 29 local government entities are administered by councils whose members are elected for four-year terms, a mayor, and a deputy mayor – both of whom are elected every two years. Jurisdiction over most areas is retained at the two higher levels of government (Commonwealth and state). Competencies at the state and Commonwealth levels are often shared, and there is a great deal of overlap which has been seen as both conducive to cooperation while at the same time extremely inefficient. At the federal level the Commonwealth is entirely responsible for external affairs, defense, and air transport, and plays a major role in social security and welfare payments. The state has exclusive powers within most areas of service delivery and education, energy, agriculture, health, transport, housing and development, police and justice systems, and local government. Three main fields of overlap between the Commonwealth and the state are health, education, and transport which are the responsibility of the state but are almost entirely financed by the Commonwealth. Local governments are responsible for garbage and waste disposal facilities, roads and footpaths, drainage, building and health inspections, parks, recreation facilities, gardens and cemeteries, community centres, and water supply and sewerage. As local government is created by state and not Commonwealth legislation, it is not directly controlled by the Commonwealth. It does, however, receive significant amounts of financial aid from the Commonwealth. The state is considered to have a vast amount of jurisdiction over its affairs, but in reality, the overlapping of responsibilities often means that the Commonwealth’s authority supercedes that of the state, and the state’s limited control over revenues means it is exceedingly dependent upon the federal level even in the areas over which it supposedly had jurisdiction.

Political Parties:
The Liberal Party – Tasmanian Division (conservative), the Labor Party – Tasmanian Branch (socialist leanings), the Tasmanian Greens (leftist), Australian Democrats – Tasmanian Division, National Party of Australia, Christian Democratic Party, Family First Tasmania, Socialist Alliance.

Important Legislation:
Constitutional Act of Tasmania (31 October, 1854): Tasmania was the first Australian colony to be granted a constitution by Queen Victoria. This is the original constitution of the island. Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth (1901): This document outlines the competencies of the state within the federal structure and is the single most important document governing state jurisdiction. When provisions herein contained are in contradiction to state legislation, Commonwealth laws prevail. Constitution Act (1934): The Tasmanian Constitution is an Act of parliament passed in 1934. It outlines the structure and competencies of state and local government.

Principal Taxes:
States in Australia have not imposed income taxes since 1942. Taxes on the production and sale of goods are also not available at the state level. The result is that apart from property valuations, the states’ right to tax is limited to payroll tax, taxes on financial and capital transactions, motor vehicle taxes, franchise taxes, and a few others. At the local level, taxes are limited to municipal rates, and local fees and fines. Three-quarters of all tax revenues is collected by the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth compensates states and local governments for their lack of jurisdiction in the collection of tax revenue through grants and payments.

Associated Power:
The Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian. The people of Tasmania hold Australian citizenship and have all the same rights as mainlanders.

Tasmania is represented abroad by Australian Embassies and Consulates. It does however host French, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, Greek, German, Danish, Belgian, and Japanese Consulates, as well as an Honorary Consul from the UK.


Population density is 7.0 per sq km.

Island Area (km sq.) Population % of Total Population
Tasmania 90,758 493,300 %

Year Resident Population

Age of Population: 0-14 15-24 25-49 50-64 65 and up
2003 19 0 0 0 17
2001 100758 103,956 103,956 103,956 62,374


Tasmania has been experiencing a constant drain of younger inhabitants as well as the trained and experienced islanders who are moving to the mainland to find better employment opportunities than are available on the island. In 1973, 39.4% of the population were younger than 20 years old in comparison to 27.6% in 2003. In 1973, 8.3% of the population were older than 65. In 2003 this figure had risen to 14.2%.

Crude Birth Rate:
2000 12.1%
2001 13.6%
2002 12.7%

Life Expedctancy:
(2002): 78.9 (women 81.3, men 76.5);

Crude Death Rate:
2000 7.9%
2001 8.2%
2002 8.4%

The majority of the population of Tasmania is descendants of people from the British Isles. A native Aboriginal community also lives on the island and composes 3.5% of the population, Immigrant communities have moved to Tasmania from all over the world in the recent past, but the largest number of people born abroad that live on the island are from the UK, New Zealand and the Netherlands (census, 2001).

Class Division:
The only class division issue visible is the fate of the Aboriginal people, all of whom have been eliminated apart from mixed blood tribe people. Measures have been taken, and continue to be taken to right their situation – in terms of land ownership as well as training and employment.

The official language spoken is English.

The Anglican, Catholic, Uniting, and Presbyterian Churches are all represented in Tasmania, as are Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and the Baha’i Faith. The majority of the population is Christian, but other groups are growing quite rapidly.

 Literacy rates for Tasmania do not appear to be available. National literacy is 99%.

Education System:
Tasmania’s school system is characterized by many small schools, a low level of private education, and a high degree of rurality. Home schooling is also recognized and is a growing area within education. The two universities in Tasmania are the University of Tasmania, with major campuses in Sandy bay and Newnham, as well as a smaller campus in Burnie for first year students who then later transfer to a central campus; and the Australian Maritime College, located in the north of the state, which provides higher education and vocational educational courses to serve the maritime sector, as well as conducting research. The vocational education and training sector deals with vocational-oriented learning, and has over 100 registered training organizations state-wide. The Institute of TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Tasmania provides vocational courses at campuses in Hobart, Warrane, Launceston, Newnham, Inveresk, Burnie, Devonport, Smithton, and Queenstown. In 2003 there were 14,506 students enrolled at the University of Tasmania, 2,724 enrolled at the Maritime College, and 54,814 students enrolled in vocational education and training courses.

Total Pre-schools:()
Total Primary Schools  
First Level:
Second Level:
Third Level:
Total Secondary Schools:
Total Professional Schools


Number of Schools per Island:


Students Enrolled:


Total Professional Schools: over 100; Universities/Colleges: 2; Number of Schools (2003): Public 214; Private 67; Students Enrolled (2003): Public 61,157; Private 21,219.

Medical Services:
In 2003 Tasmania had 3 main public hospitals: Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital, and North West Regional Hospital, Burnie. The island also had 10 private hospitals (4 in Hobart, 3 in Launceston, and 3 in the north-west). In 2000/2001 there were 4.1 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, and the average length of stay was 4.3 days.


 It is thought that Tasmania was attached to mainland Australia until the end of the ice age, about 10,000 years ago. The Tasmanian Aborigines’ presence in the territory goes back at least 35,000 years. In 1642, Dutch explorers first “discovered” the island, which was later seen by James Cook in 1777. Many other European explorers also came ashore over the years, but the first official European settlement was established by the British at Risdon Cove in 1803 by a group from Sydney. An alternative settlement was established in 1804 5km to the south in Sullivan’s Cove, later to be renamed Hobart. Early settlers were predominantly convicts and military guards whose task it was to develop agriculture and other industries. A number of penal colonies were established on the island. Tasmania was given its own judicial establishment and Legislative Council (as separate from New South Wales) on December 3, 1825. Although the Aboriginal communities were at one time numerous, contact with European diseases and persecution reduced their populations significantly. The last full-blooded Tasmanian Aborigine died in Hobart in 1876, leaving only mixed-blood descendants. In 1901 Tasmania became a state of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Tasmanians have only been given the opportunity to indicate an opinion on state matters three times since statehood: in 1916 on the issue of hotel closing hours; in 1968 on the question of issuing a casino license for a hotel in Hobart; and in 1981 on the issue of dam construction and future power options for the state (which was finally taken out of state hands by national a national court decision). No formal requirement to hold referendums exists in Tasmania. The state’s Constitution Act may be amended by simple majority of parliamentarians voting in favour of a Bill to enact any changes.

Recent Significant Events:
There have been no recent major natural disasters in Tasmania.

Music, Dance, Handicraft and Patrimony:


Note: Acknowledged with thanks is Bernardo Aguilar for his invaluable assistance in locating the data used in this report. AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS. http:www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d33101114. nsf/Home/Home?OpenDocument Accessed May 10, 2005. ASCOTT GROUP. Travel Information: Embassies. http://www.the-ascott.com/OurResi/Res iTravelInfo.aso?cat=6&p=156&r=2 Accessed May 9, 2005. COLOMBUSGUIDES. ‘Tasmania.’ http://www.columbusguides.co.uk/data/tas/tas.asp Accessed May 10, 2005. DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES. Office of Energy. http://www.dier.tas.gov.au/energy/index.html Accessed May 9, 2005. ISLAND DIRECTORY. ‘Tasmania.’ http://islands.unep.ch/IJA.htm#91 Accessed May 10, 2005. OECD. ‘Managing Across Levels of Government: Australia.’ http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/10/28/1902511.pdf. Accessed May 9, 2005. TASMANIA. http://www.mceetya.edu.au/pdf/anr1999/chap013_tas.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2005. TASMANIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY. (TCCI). http://www.tcci.com.au/ Accessed May 10, 2005. TASMANIA’S CLIMATE. http://www.view.com.au/weather/ Accessed May 8, 2005. TASMANIA ONLINE. ‘Political Parties.’ http://www.tas.gov.us/tasmaniaonline/Nav/Headi ng.asp?Topic=Politics+and+governance&Heading=Political+parties. Accessed May 9, 2005. TASMANIAN PARLIAMENT. http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/tpl/backg/Parliament.htm Accessed May 9, 2005. TASMANIAN PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY. ‘Referendums in Tasmania.’ http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/tpl/InfoSheets/referendums.htm Accessed May 10, 2005. TOUR TASMANIA. ‘Tasmania’ http://www.tourtasmania.com/tasfaq/ Accessed May 9, 2005 . UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND. ‘Tasmania: Government Publications.’ http://www.une.edu.au/library/elecres/tas.htm Accessed May 9, 2005. WIKIPEDIA. ‘Tasmania.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmania Accessed May 8, 2005. WORLDATLAS.COM. ‘Tasmania.’ http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/islands /au/tas.htm Accessed May 8,2005.


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