The Hodgman government’s belligerent refusal to negotiate a wage freeze agreement with the public sector unions is set to cost the Tasmanian community further, with the government’s hiring expensive international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to represent it in the state Industrial Commission hearings next week, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said.
“This is ideologically driven right-wing vendetta gone mad,” Mr Booth said.
“It defies logic to sink an estimated $145, 000 per day of taxpayers’ on fly-in fly-out international lawyers, to try and prevent state employees from implementing a wage freeze for themselves to save the state $17 million.”
“Trying to prevent the public sector unions from altering awards to help the state save money through a wage freeze does not make sense in itself for an apparently cash-strapped government, but to then not even use its own in-house lawyers adds another layer of insult to injury.”
“This is completely over the top and begs the question as to why the government even needs lawyers, in-house or not, for what should be a straight-forward hearing on Monday. To bring in the expensive lawyers used by the Federal government in their ill-fated WorkChoices campaign is an extraordinary over-reaction.”
“The Premier and the Treasurer need to stop with the expensive sledgehammers and instead negotiate like mature adults,” Mr Booth said.