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Tasmanian Greens' Alternative Budget

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tags: Alternative Budget, State Budget, Health, Preventative Health, Environment, Education, Forests, Parks, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Firefighters, Treasury, Electric Vehicles, Hobart Light Rail

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson

The Greens believe governments should have a vision for the future that extends beyond the next election.   We recognise that genuine planning for the 21st century requires a long term vision and the courage to make bold decisions to drive change.

Containing more than 100 costed initiatives, the Greens’ Alternative Budget invests in disadvantaged Tasmanians along with measures that build economic and environmental sustainability while growing skills and jobs for the new economy.

We recognise it is no longer acceptable for any government to hand down a Budget that does not invest in climate mitigation and adaptation.  Business as usual simply isn’t an option in an age of accelerating climate disruption.

Our fully costed Alternative Budget does both, applying the climate lens across all agencies to create a more resilient, prosperous Tasmania in the future.

Our vision for a just and equitable Tasmania reprioritises spending away from corporate handouts and road construction, into restoring frontline health and education services.   It delivers the most comprehensive preventative health package put forward by any party to date and reinstates Pathway Planners in our schools to guide young people into meaningful work.

The Greens’ Alternative Budget demonstrates the State’s finances can more than afford to wind poker machines back from pubs and clubs, and be weaned off the State’s longstanding addiction to gambling revenue.

It proposes revenue raising measures that target high emissions vehicles and earns the State an income from generating large scale renewable energy certificates from significantly increased and diversified clean energy sources.  

Unlike the old parties, we have a comprehensive and costed plan to deliver a secure, self sufficient clean energy future for Tasmania.  We will invest in small to large scale renewable, low interest loans for rooftop solar, free energy efficiency upgrades and modernise the State’s aging grid through smart network IT infrastructure.

The Greens Budget sets aside funding to earn future income through forest restoration and the sale of forest carbon credits on global carbon markets that will become increasingly valuable over time.

It restores and increases funding to support the essential work of the Parks and Wildlife Service which has suffered savage cuts under the Liberals, determined as they are to allow the exploitation of Tasmania’s reserves for profit at the expense of natural and cultural values.

It invests in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, electric vehicles, light rail and the business case for ferry transport on the Derwent.  

It also deals with the basics, allocating a substantial spend to upgrading the stinking mess that it Tasmania’s water and sewerage infrastructure while restoring water quality testing state-wide that was defunded in the first Hodgman Budget.

Our Budget restores funding to the State’s integrity bodies who have suffered as a result of State and Federal Liberal cuts, and it establishes the new position of Community Services Commissioner to reflect the fact that an ever increasing number of services are now delivered by government funded community sector organisations.

As always, the Greens are giving voice to the voiceless.  Our Alternative Budget would end the cruel greyhound racing industry, restore inspectorate funding to the RSPCA and reinstate the Labor Green government’s funding to buy back battery cages in our determination to help create a cruelty free Tasmania.

On behalf of the Tasmanian Greens, I am proud to say that when we talk about ‘future proofing’ Tasmania, our Alternative Budget demonstrates that we mean it and will work towards it every day as Greens.