By lex, on November 21st, 2011
Interesting article * – the comments especially – about the efforts of Tasmania’s opposition party to draw US Navy ship visits:
TASMANIA should be promoted as a “port of recuperation” for US troops, the state Opposition says.
Liberal Member for Denison Matthew Groom said Hobart once had a proud association with the US Navy, serving as a rest and relaxation haven for troops after long stints at sea.
Mr Groom said Tasmania could cash in on US plans to boost its military presence in the region.
“There is likely to be a significant ramp up of US naval visits to Australia,” Mr Groom said. “It is also anticipated that the US will have some permanent naval presence in Australia.
“The Premier should get on the front foot … and extend a warm invitation for increased US naval visits to Hobart,” he said.
Once again, from a liberty perspective, enthusiastically endorsed: Your host has spent some twenty-five days in Perth, Western Australia over the course of three decades at sea, and a mere five in Hobart. I’ll never say a bad word about Perth, but Tasmania was magical.
The only problem is that it’s pretty far away. From everything. Especially with New Zealand boarded up, there’s no place left to go but home, having made the trip through the bight to Hobart. Apart from Hawaii, of course. Home waters.
Funny thing about a port visit for a local economy: When a strike group lands after a long time at sea, there are 8000 youngsters coming ashore with months worth of unspent income burning a hole in their pockets. They inject that largesse into the local economy and then sail away, making no claims on the city’s services. No big deal to places like Perth and Sydney, which have hard running economies of their own, and in any case have become patiently inured to the occasional visit. But to a small and remote economy like Hobart’s, that money can rattle around for quite some time before the effect runs out.
It’s good work, if you can get it.
** 06-06-18 – Link gone; no replacement found – Ed.