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Liberal Government Priorities

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Tags: Stadium, Housing Crisis, COVID-19, Fish Farms


You want Tasmanians to believe you are working to improve their lives but your Government is overseeing a health system in crisis and unchecked COVID-19 infection; the worst educational outcomes in the country; a public transport system on the brink of collapse; and the nation's least-affordable rents. You refuse to act to curb soaring rents or short-stay accommodation, which both you and your Treasurer personally profit from. You have ruled out a levy on the thousands of vacant homes which are shutting Tasmanians out of the rental market but you do have cosy corporate dinners with $4000 tickets where you trade away our water ways, which your Government is allowing to be poisoned with antibiotics. You have become Gil's shill, parroting the AFL CEO's talking points whenever he flies down for a few hours to spruik a $1 billion stadium we cannot afford and do not need.

Just who do you govern for? It is certainly not for the battlers or everyday Tasmanians. Are you hoping voters will send you back to the spud farm at the next election?

Government members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.



Mr speaker, I thank the member for her question and the wide-ranging diatribe that it was. Compared to your record in government between 2010 and 2014 when the Greens governed with Labor, how do you feel about the 10 000 people who lost their jobs under you -

Ms O'Connor - A decade ago.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. Leader of the Greens, you went there with this question. I expect you to listen to the answer in silence. If you do not, you will be listening to it outside the Chamber.

Dr WOODRUFF - Point of clarification, Mr Speaker. The Premier was directly talking to Ms O'Connor, inciting her by speaking to her personally.

Mr SPEAKER - Resume your seat. The Premier is on his feet. He will answer the question without interruption from anybody.

Mr ROCKLIFF - The Government is for a growing economy so that we can fund those essential services and provide for a caring community. There are challenges across our nation, in every state and territory. Tasmania is leading the nation in a number of key indicators. I am very proud of the fact that we rebuilt an economy that was decimated under your watch, under your strong influence, Ms O'Connor. You tugged the chain of Labor for four long years, where 10 000 people were sent to the dole queues. How do you think they felt? How do you think they felt when they were on those fixed incomes in the dole queues when power prices went up 65 per cent? How do you feel about that? How do you feel about the fact that you sacked a nurse a day for nine months? When you put beds in storage? Closed hospital wards? You talk about spud farming: you attacked rural and regional communities across Tasmania when you tried to close 20 of their schools - a number of which are right now growing in population.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker. The Premier is misleading the House. It was a Green minister who saved those schools from closure.

Mr SPEAKER - I am not sure what point of order it was. Premier, could you continue?

Mr ROCKLIFF - We have rebuilt an economy, of which I am very proud. We are investing in essential services. More than replacing the nurses you sacked over those four years. There are more nurses in our hospitals, there are more teachers in our schools, there are more police on the beat -

Ms O'Byrne - Sleeping in their cars. People with disabilities moving into tents. Ambulance staff on the ramp.


Member suspendedMember for Bass - Ms O'Byrne

Mr SPEAKER - Member for Bass, this is the third time I have spoken to you this morning, so you can leave the Chamber and view question time from your office. You will be out until the end of question time.

Ms O'Byrne withdrew.


Mr ROCKLIFF - Mr Speaker, we have a different focus as a Government from the Greens. The Greens want to shut down industry: shut down the forestry industry, shut down the salmon industry -

Ms O'Connor - Yawn.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Well, if you are tired, Ms O'Connor. I thought you would have had a reasonable break but you come in here yawning when there are serious issues at play here for all Tasmanians, such as keeping people employed.

Building approvals remain at elevated levels. Our record-breaking $5.6 billion infrastructure program is turbocharging the economy and underpinning jobs. That is our focus while delivering better roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and facilities that

Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - You do not like seeing people employed on the roads?

Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. While your contribution has been interrupted a lot, I do need to ask you to wind up so that question time does not go forever.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Well, I have spent about as long as the question. Mr Speaker, $11.2 billion dollars into health, $8.5 billion into education, $1.5 billion into housing and more than $330 million this year and across the forward Estimates to eliminate and put downward pressure on cost-of-living pressures, including substantial energy relief - those key areas such as cost of living, providing for education, better health services, safe communities. We are investing more in our frontline health services.

We are proud of our record. We have more to do but I will put the record of this Government against the previous government any day of the week.