Posted by Malcolm Liddell

We were privileged to hear from six members of the Professional Development Group from Rotary District 9830 Tasmania, Australia. The group consisted of the following: 


George, the Team Leader - a Finance Manager 

Annie, a 28 year old Marine Scientist. 

Laura, a 30 year old Business Development Manager. 

Margot, a 26 year old Rural Reporter with ABC Radio. 

Graham, a 30 year old Engagement Specialist with Tourism Tasmania. 

Ellen, a 26 year old Wildlife Management Officer. 


All speakers were passionate about Tasmania and provided us with some very interesting information.

We were shown an informative video of the background facts of Tasmania. Early in the presentation, the injustices brought down on the native Aboriginal people were acknowledged and we were advised that there are currently only three percent of persons with mixed blood in the state. 

While each speaker concentrated on various aspects of the state, the similarities with New Zealand became very apparent in terms of the importance of agriculture and tourism. Salmon farming is the biggest $$ earner of the primary industries. 


Tasmania makes up only two percent of Australia’s land area but receives twelve percent of its rainfall. Hydro electricity generation and the increasing development of wind turbines was noted. We learned that despite a higher that normal rainfall irrigation is essential, and that over one billion dollars has been invested in irrigation. Tasmania sends food products to the value of three billion dollars, either interstate or internationally. 


Pest control was discussed and the positive effects of wallaby- proof fences were shown with all grass eaten off on the unprotected side of the fence while the grass within the fence was lush. There was some amusement at the wildlife management officer showing a photo of herself standing over a deer stag she had shot. I guess deer are also a problem in Tasmania! 


Similarities to tourism in NZ were noted, with Tasmania trying to attract tourists who stay longer and spend more. Tourism has increased since 2011 with the opening of the Mona Museum in Hobart with world class art work consequently attracting a worldwide audience. 


After a lively series of questions from members, John Drummond proposed a vote of thanks.