Tasmanians have seen how little the Liberal majority government regards its public sector workers, its democratic responsibility, and how lightly the Premier, Will Hodgman, makes and breaks promises, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said today.
“Despite publicly undertaking that debate on the controversial Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill would not be gagged, the Premier broke that promise, ramming the Bill through the Lower House on the cusp of midnight,” Mr Booth said.
“This breach of faith by Will Hodgman demonstrates gobsmacking contempt for the public, the parliament, and the thousands of Tasmanian public sector workers who will be affected by this Bill.”
“This is how little regard the Liberals have for Tasmania’s public sector workers, that they are not even prepared to ensure this Bill is given as rigorous an examination necessary to exhaust all relevant concerns.”
“All they have achieved is exhaust people’s trust and patience with this arrogant bullish government.”
“The Liberals are seeking to impose a wage freeze which could be indefinite, and circumvent the independence of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, and yet they did not have the moral fibre to withstand indepth and prolonged scrutiny by opposition parties on behalf of the state’s workers.”
“For the fourth time in just eight short sitting weeks the Hodgman government has gagged debate on a controversial Bill, outsourcing the House of Assembly job to scrutinise to the Upper House, yet again.”
“The Liberals keep whining about how long debate is taking, which is extraordinary and disingenuous. Parliament is their job, and scrutiny of their proposed legislation is what it means to be held accountable.”
“When the House cannot get a clear yes or no answer from the Treasurer as to whether highly paid public positions such as the Solicitor-General, the DPP, and magistrates who escape the Bill’s proposed wage freeze are public servants or not, then of course Members are going to continue pursuing the matter. Had the Treasurer simply answered, we could have moved on.”
“The Greens had a series of amendments we were prevented from debating, which we believe would have put the acid test on the Liberals’ intentions to allow the wage freeze extend indefinitely, the impact on the independence of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, and a range of other matters.”
“This disgraceful Bill has been propelled without detailed scrutiny to the Upper House in a disgraceful manner.”
“Saying this unpopular Bill has ‘passed’ the Lower House is misleading, and is as meaningless as the Premier’s promises,” Mr Booth said.