The Gutwein Government needs to abandon its mean spirited, unnecessary journey through the courts as it pulls out all stops to withhold a few thousand dollars in backpay to Tasmanian firefighters.
Shadow Attorney-General Ella Haddad said it was extraordinary that the Liberals were prepared to spend more money on legal fees to take their battle against firefighters to the Full Court when the backpay they were determined to withhold amounted to possibly no more than $20,000 in total.
“We are talking about backpay owed to 13 firefighters and we are talking about a battle the Gutwein Government has already waged through both the Industrial Commission and the Supreme Court and lost twice,” Ms Haddad said.
“It simply makes no sense for the government to now continue on and try to deny these workers what they are entitled to by proceeding with an appeal to the Full Court.
“These are the workers who placed themselves in danger to keep Tasmanians safe during the 2018-19 fire season which we all remember was horrific.
“These are the workers who walk toward the fire rather than run away from it to ensure people and property remain safe.
“The government has already lost two attempts to refuse them this small pay rise and it’s extremely mean-spirited that they are fighting this to the bitter end by appealing to the Full Supreme Court.
“The government would be paying much, much more in legal fees to fight this than if they had simply paid the backpay they are rightfully owed.
“It’s completely out of touch with community expectation and the Attorney-General Elise Archer should at least try and inject some common sense here and order that the case be dropped.”
Ella Haddad MP
Shadow Attorney General