In Budget Estimates today it became clear the Hodgman government's plan to abolish the independent Tasmanian Community Fund Board delivers precisely zero savings to the Budget bottom line, reinforcing fears the move is designed to provide an annual $6million pork barrel to the Liberals in government, Greens' Community Development spokesperson, Cassy O'Connor MP, said today.
"Under questioning in Estimates, the Premier had to concede the proposed abolition of the independent Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) Board delivers no savings to the Budget bottom line, as Board fees are sourced from within the Fund.”
"The Premier's rationale for the Board's abolition provided no reassurance that the fund, established with the sale of the Trust Bank in 1999, would continue to be disbursed independently to community groups for community benefit.”
"There is no financial imperative for the Liberals to abolish the independent Board. None whatsoever.”
"If it looks, smells and feels like an attempt to create a $6million annual slush fund for the Liberals in government, then it almost certainly is.”
"The Hodgman Government has no mandate to interfere with the Tasmanian Community Fund. Getting their hands on TCF monies was not part of the platform they took to the election.”
"The Premier indicated that legislation to abolish the Board will be presented to Parliament at the earliest opportunity. The fate of the Tasmanian Community Fund and the interests of the multitude of community organisations that look to it for apolitical support, now rests with Tasmania's Upper House," Ms O'Connor said.