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Budget in Vision and Compassion Deficit

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 23 May 2019

Tags: State Budget, Housing, Climate Change, Bushfires, Health, Housing Waiting List

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Treasurer promised a heavy infrastructure spend in today’s Budget, but what was clearly missing was the investment in social infrastructure. 

Expenditure on roads and bridges reaches $1.5 billion over the forward estimates and only $200 million is allocated to new affordable housing, not one cent of it is new money.

The Liberals have once again prioritised roads and all but forgotten the Tasmanians who need support.  The Budget papers reveal the Treasurer’s obsession with roads will drive Tasmania in to debt in 2022.

It’s all very well to spend money on roads and bridges, but you can’t ignore the people sleeping under them. This State Budget does just that.

The housing waiting list has soared under the Liberals, to its highest level in a decade. This State Budget fails to invest adequately in social and affordable housing to tackle the problem now and into the future.

Social infrastructure - like homes for the homeless - is critical to the wellbeing of all Tasmanians. To leave those living in tents, cars and couch surfing out in the cold while more roads are constructed, is irresponsible and heartless.

Treasurer Gutwein’s sixth Budget is as uninspiring and uncaring as the previous five. It contains no big ideas or compassion – it’s what Tasmanians have come to know as status quo from the State Liberals.

In a time of climate emergency, rapid global heating and frequent climate-induced natural disasters, this Budget will reassure no one.

It has no vision for the future apart from what can be concreted over.

With no new substantive investment in health or housing, disadvantaged Tasmanians remain just as unsupported this year, as the past five.