Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Member for Franklin
Premier Gutwein’s arrogant Achilles heel was on display during Question Time, when he revealed he has no intention of respecting Parliament’s decision for his government to investigate a Tasmanian Job Guarantee program.
In September, Parliament voted in support of the Gutwein Government examining the implementation of a game-changing Job Guarantee employment program. The Greens wrote to the Premier six weeks ago asking for a timeline for action, but have had no response.
The Premier seems to misunderstand his relationship with Parliament. The Government is appointed by Parliament and he, as Premier, is accountable to Parliament - not the other way around.
Premier Gutwein’s disregard for the Westminster system could not be more obvious. His arrogance undermines the State’s democratic fabric, and it lets down Tasmanians who are looking to government for a pathway out of unemployment.
The social and economic crisis caused by coronavirus has been massive, and will continue to impact upon our state for years to come. A Job Guarantee program is exactly the kind of dynamic, forward-thinking policy a responsible government would be considering.
The Liberals themselves expect unemployment to rise. Instead of the 2020-21 State Budget providing the big ideas needed to address a systemic lack of job opportunities and inequality, they ploughed ahead with more of the same from the last six budgets.
Australia committed to a policy of full employment after the Second World War. During and recovering from crisis, it’s what a responsible government should do.
More to the point, it’s what Parliament decided the Gutwein Government should look into.
Tasmanians out of work through no fault of their own will be insulted their Premier seems prepared to defy the will of the House, rather than investigating a program that could provide a job for them and thousands of others.
We urge the Premier to rethink his words today, and reassure Tasmanians his Government will investigate a Job Guarantee program.