The suburb rankings, as shown in the print edition of The Sunday Tasmanian, is reproduced below.
State’s wealth gap widens
Tasmania is home to suburbs rated among the most advantaged, and disadvantaged, in Australia.
New Census data show the state’s wealth divide is most stark in the south. Tolmans Hill, in Hobart, is Tasmania’s most advantaged suburb, while the city’s northern suburb of Brighton is among the state’s most needy.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Tolmans Hill is in Australia’s top 1 per cent of suburbs, followed by Acton Park and Roches Beach, which are in the top 2 per cent, then Tranmere, Ridgeway and Tinderbox in the top 3 per cent.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Tasmanian municipalities in Australia’s bottom 10 per cent are: George Town, Break O’Day and Brighton. Rocherlea, north of Launceston, was found to be Tasmania’s most disadvantaged suburb and Australia’s 97th. Other suburbs in the bottom 2 per cent level were Cape Barren Island, Gagebrook, Herdsmans Cove, Clarendon Vale and Burnie’s Shorewell Park. Bridgewater and the Launceston suburb of Ravenswood are in the bottom 3 per cent.
The Tasmanian Council of Social Service chief executive Tony Reidy said the divide between rich and poor was no surprise. “When we see those statistics we see there is a great divide between those who are doing well in our state and those who are doing poorly.”
The data are revealed in the 2011 Census social advantage area rankings, which place suburbs according to their access to financial and social resources.
The findings show that municipalities in which just over a third of Tasmania’s population live (about 175,000) are among Australia’s top third of areas with a socio-economic advantage. That relatively well-off set lives in Hobart, Kingborough, Clarence, Meander Valley and West Tamar. These residents have the greatest access to material and social resources, and the greatest ability to participate in society.
But there is a sharp divide between those and other Tasmanian municipalities, all of which are in the bottom half of the rankings.
About 59,000 Tasmanians living in the Sorell, Northern Midlands, Latrobe, King Island, Flinders Island and Central Coast municipalities were in that bottom half, but were significantly ahead of the remaining 261,000 Tasmanians, who were all living in areas ranked in the bottom third.
ABS Methodology Data Management Division director Phillip Gould, said the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas analyses were intended to help government decision makers. “It provides assessments of the welfare of Australian communities and helps in determining areas that require funding and services,” Dr Gould said.
Mr Reidy said TasCOSS’s submission to the State Government ahead of the coming Budget highlighted the growing gap between rich and poor in Tasmania. He said that between 14 and 24 per cent of Tasmanians lived either in poverty or on the cusp of it, and 34 per cent of Tasmanian households relied on some form of Commonwealth benefit as their principal source of income. Mr Reidy said the Census data should act as a “wake-up call” to Government. “The solution requires strong and continued social investment in education, health, transport and communications,” he said.
The Census data show Australia’s most advantaged suburbs are mostly in WA and NSW, while Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland fare the worst.
Is this the sort of information you would take into account in deciding where to live in Tasmania?