Welcome to a new year – 2011
As you may have noted I managed to stay away from the computer (and hence this blog) for over two weeks – amazing!
A surprise awaited me this morning – for some reason the local newspaper delivery van decided to deliver the West Australian to my door – thank you very much… more interesting was some of the content (included on their website) about the view of WA in “2020 – The Big Issues Facing WA”
Of the topics covered in the paper there are three that I would like to review and talk about – they are:
- Our Health
- Resources Industry Employment
- Home Ownership
It is the start of a new year and no doubt some will have committed (for a while at least) to attempt to lose some weight, do more exercise, and eat more healthily – good luck to you all. The greater problem as highlighted in the article is with the aging Baby Boomer generation is the increased demand, pressure and costs our health system will be experiencing – something that we want (and need) to avoid.
So what does this have to do with our Future State? Like some of the critical components of the state’s key public services – Health is an area where greater and greater funds can be put in to improve health outcomes – somewhat like a bottomless pit. I’m not saying that we reduce expenditure on health – the issues is the opposite to that – with an ageing population there will be greater demand for more complex, critical, expensive, and long-term medical treatments – and hence greater strain on the state’s budget.
As it is always said ‘Prevention is better than cure’ therefore it is important to try and cut the incidence of disease – be it physical or mental. This will reduce the burden on the state’s economy both directly (through lower relative health costs) and indirectly through less sick leave etc. for staff and potentially greater performance at work… that is the idea anyway.
Nothing is a simple as that – however one of the major tenets behind the push for a Big Australia is the need to have an employed population greater enough to be able to fund the expected increasing health costs that the country will face over the coming 40 odd years…
This old chestnut is talked about all of the time – be it by the CCI, CME, major miners etc. – because it is true. With the vast amount of investment in resources projects here in WA it is essential that we have the workforce to support this – and this means greater immigration (as well as migration from interstate). It was interesting to see some comments coming out of the federal Department of Immigration about the need to have a net intake of 180,000 immigrants:
Finally at least for us X-Gen (and even you Y-Gens as well) types that have bought houses some proof that it is more challenging to purchase property now than for previous generations… The interesting issue is if it becomes harder in years to come to ‘get on the property bandwagon’ then this will be a detractor to anyone considering moving to WA to be part of our growing state.
How we fix this is not easy – greater land and housing supply at a lowe cost is the simple answer. I just wish it was that easy.
Just a first stab in the dark for 2011 on some broader issues that we will be facing – and they are all tied into the major limitations to growth in the economy of the state – people…