Jordan Brock

Check Facts Before Mouthing Off

As highlighted in my previous post the Prime Minister, while addressing a forestry association dinner in Tasmania, made the following remarks:

“We all know Tasmania has the lowest wages in Australia, it has the lowest GDP per head, it’s got the lowest life expectancy, it’s got the lowest educational retainment in the country and it’s got the highest unemployment, and funnily enough for the last eight years it has had a government in large measure dominated by the Greens,” he said.

A pretty damning accusation you’d have to agree. Basically saying, amongst other claims, that the reason that Tasmanians are dying earlier than their mainland counterparts is due to the rise in prominence of a minor party on the Tasmanian, then National landscape.

OK, so how could we test this claim? Well, we could compare the national life expectency to the Tasmanian one. If what the Prime Minister has said is true, then the national figure would increase at a rate faster than that of Tasmania? Meaning that policies furthered by the Greens would be holding back the Tasmanian average. Right, let’s go to the numbers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics published this report which has the life expectancy of Australia as a whole, and the individual states and territories.

Region 2002   2012   Average Annual Change
  Males Females Males Females  
Australia 77.4 82.6 79.9 84.3 0.9%
Tasmania 76.5 81.3 78.7 82.6 1.0%

So, it seems that Tasmania, in the time period corresponding to the rise of the Green party, has actually outperformed the national average.