Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr ROCKLIFF
During the winter break, you told Tasmanians your Government was resetting its focus. Apart from moving around a few ministerial positions and bringing in a highly paid spin doctor from a lobbying firm, it is clear nothing has changed. So many Tasmanians are suffering. Thousands of people every day are skipping meals, not filling up with fuel, without a home at all - or, if they are lucky, living in an unheated one. Ramping is the worst it has ever been, and there is still no plan to turn things around. Every day highly endangered and threatened species are being pushed further towards extinction by your Government's policies.
We are in a critical climate heating emergency and you are strengthening the push to log and burn native forest carbon stores. Despite your expensive PR, Tasmanians see through you. They see a premier who has lost touch with the issues that matter to them, who spends his entire time in the job focusing on building an unnecessary billion-dollar stadium.
Will you focus, Premier, on the things that matter to Tasmania, and leave expensive, optional expenditure such as the stadium behind?
Mr Speaker, I thank Dr Woodruff for the question, and congratulate her on her acting Leader position.
Dr Woodruff - Leader. It is not acting now.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Leader. It is official now?
Dr Woodruff - It is official. That is what I just declared.
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - Congratulations on being Leader of the Greens. That is fantastic.
Dr Woodruff, I do not make light of your question at all. This is a Government whose priorities are indeed tackling the cost of living, supporting Tasmanians into their own homes - which I have spoken about today - and providing the best possible healthcare system, which Tasmanians deserve, and also keeping our economy strong, jobs growth strong, improving educational outcomes, and ensuring Tasmania is the best place to live, work and raise a family.
That is exactly what our focus will be. We can build other infrastructure as well - enabling infrastructure. The Bridgewater bridge is bouncing out of ground, as I have said many times - congratulations to those project managers and all the trades working on that - and of course the enabling infrastructure of the stadium, which I am committed to. I recognised on the weekend that it is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is important when it comes to jobs, economic growth, and Tasmania participating in the $8 billion stadia economy that other states have a share in. Of course, with the precinct and that development comes jobs, growth, and the economy, so it can fund these essential services that I do not doubt you care about, we all care about, and we particularly care about when it comes to investing in our healthcare. You cannot deny -
Dr Woodruff - Where is your commitment? Where is the money?
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - You raised health. You cannot deny elective surgery waiting lists have decreased as a result of our continued and increased investment by up to 30 per cent in the last two years - to around to $7900, where it peaked at $12 200. That is testimony to not only our investment, but more particularly the hard work of our health professionals and clinicians across Tasmania. That is why we have our $200 million investment in elective surgery. That is why we committed $38 million additional for endoscopies, to get those waiting lists down as well. They are the priorities: health, education, housing - not only in Homelessness Week, but every single day of the week, and every single week of the year.
We are a Government that is getting on with the job, committed to doing what matters for all Tasmanians. We can have it all, Mr Speaker.
I do not despair much, but what I despair about is the constant negativity, particularly of the Labor Party. Every opportunity, talking Tasmania down. I hear it day in, day out. People are disappointed in you because Tasmanians are proud of their state. Every night on the television - and you are the worst offender, Mr Winter - talking Tasmania down -
Ms White - Because your Government is so bad.
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - When what this is all about is confidence, Mr Speaker. Confidence is king. That is why we are driving jobs growth, investing in our economy, so we can fund our essential services that we should, and we do, all care about.