Premier and Treasurer Peter Gutwein could easily have avoided the necessity to rush Supply Bills through the Tasmanian Parliament today if he had not been distracted by the Adam Brooks debacle.
Shadow Treasurer Rebecca White said the Supply Bills are necessary to guarantee essential services in Tasmania can continue to be delivered and public servants including nurses, ambulance paramedics and police officers continue to be paid but the government would deliver them by the skin of its teeth.
“Because the government has delayed the budget until August it’s necessary to provide an extra allocation of funding before the start of the new financial year so that people can be paid and services continue to be delivered,” Ms White said.
“This means these two Bills need to pass both the House of Assembly and the Upper House and receive Royal Ascent by next Wednesday.
“Parliament could have been recalled much earlier but instead these important Bills involving more than $2 billion in funding to guarantee services and wages for the next four months are being debated in the dying days of the financial year and it is entirely the responsibility of the Gutwein Government.
“The fact is the resumption of Parliament was delayed because of the mess the Liberals created with their Braddon candidates in the state election and these Bills could have been and should have been debated much, much earlier.
“They shouldn’t be a rush job. There should have been more time allowed for scrutiny. They are critically important to ensure people are paid, essential services are delivered and work on infrastructure projects can continue.
“The Premier simply did not want to resume the Parliament sooner when he wasn’t even sure who all the Liberals Members would be and who might make up the 13th seat after Adam Brooks resigned just hours after winning in Braddon.
“What’s also interesting is the Premier has left it up to his Finance Minister Mr Ferguson to carry these Bills through the House.
“Is that an indication that Mr Gutwein is going to leave all of the heavy lifting in the Treasury portfolio to his leadership rival?”
Rebecca White MP