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Hodgman Government's Legacy
Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
As we end the year, it is worth taking a look back at the legacy you have continued to build in 2019. You have failed to address the key challenges facing Tasmania: the climate emergency; Aboriginal reconciliation; a broken health system; homelessness; bushfire safety; the harm caused by poker machines; and the extinction crisis facing threatened species, to name a few. Instead, you have been pushing destructive policies, designed with only political goals in mind.
You have sought to undermine the democratic right of Tasmanians, privatise their wilderness and to erode judicial independence. You have overseen the planned destruction of Aboriginal Heritage in Tarkine, the logging of old-growth forests, mass wildlife culls and you have used taxpayer funds to support coalmining projects. All along the way, you have undermined the objects of the Right to Information Act 2009. You have refused to be truthful and transparent with Tasmanians. Do you really want the history books to remember you as a self-interested and weak figure who did not have the courage for honesty, let along true leadership? Is maintaining power for power's sake worth it?
Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens for the question. Of course, just two years ago when the people of Tasmania had the opportunity to express their views about who they wanted to lead this state and this government, they elected a majority Liberal Government to continue the work it started and to deliver more for our state, which is what is happening. There are a number of areas that are very much a Greens' agenda, at least a Greens' slant, but when it comes to what we have always said we would deliver, we are doing so.
Our economy is now the strongest performing in the country. There are 15 800 more Tasmanians employed now than when we came into government; 10 000 were lost during a Labor-Greens government's term. Our economy is strong. It was in recession under Labor and the Greens. Business confidence levels are high. They were at their lowest in the nation when Labor and the Greens were in government. We had more people leaving our state seeking opportunities elsewhere. They are now returning, with opportunities in Tasmania abounding. We have also committed not only to managing our economy well, but also our budget, which we are doing. It is balanced and we are delivering budget surpluses so that we can invest more into health services. There are more doctors and nurses now employed in our health system, more paramedics, more police officers, more correctional officers. We have more frontline public servants in our health, education and community services assisting Tasmanians in need.
These are the things that are important to us, as is investing in the infrastructure our growing state needs. The multi-generational infrastructure program that we have outlined in our budget, supported strongly by the coalition government - the Morrison Government - bringing forward funding for infrastructure is all about meeting the demand in our state with such a strong economy, growing population, increased tourism, increased exports.
We need to invest in infrastructure and we are doing this in an unprecedented way off the back of a strong budget position and which will, as the budget forecasts, create 10 000 more jobs. Whilst the Leader of the Opposition - well, the true leader of the opposition, I should say -
will inevitably on this final day when there is an opportunity to present what is most important to her, use the opportunity to make some nasty personal attacks, whatever. I could not care less. Our record stands strong. Our state is in better shape now than when we came into government. It is in better shape now than it was this time last year. We are focused on delivering for Tasmanians, not worrying about squabbling with each other.