Media Releases

Rebecca White MP | Labor Member for Lyons

  • 12 months on, the Hodgman Liberal Government is failing Tasmanians
  • Not all Tasmanians are sharing in the ‘Golden Age’
  • Labor’s vision will ensure nobody gets left behind
Twelve months since the election, the Hodgman Liberal Government has failed to make the lives of Tasmanians better.
In her State of the State Reply in Parliament today, Labor Leader, Rebecca White, detailed her vision for Tasmania.
“I see so much potential being squandered by this do-nothing government,” Ms White said.
“For many Tasmanians, this is not the ‘Golden Age’ they were promised. Looking back over the past 12 months people will struggle to find examples of what the government actually achieved to make the lives of Tasmanians better.
“My vision is for a Tasmania that is prosperous enough to provide opportunities for all and small enough that no one gets left behind.
“Tasmania deserves a Government and a future where growing inequality is tackled thoughtfully and meaningfully.
“A future where underemployment and insecure work is acknowledged and Government, business and community can come together to find solutions.
“A future where essential public services are available for everyone, where ideas and innovation are encouraged and celebrated and our economy can provide enough employment for each person seeking a job and they are paid appropriately in recognition of their value.
“Labor is determined to deliver a fairness agenda; better access to hospitals and health care; training pathways to employment; investment in infrastructure to support housing and transport; action on climate change and investment in renewable energy and a balanced budget that gives confidence to business and supports sustainable economic development.
“We are fired up and ready because we know there is no more important job than looking after our state, our community and our children’s future.
“We are going to hold this tired Liberal Government to account every day, because Tasmanians cannot afford another year of failure.
“Tasmanians demands and expect better than this and the Labor party is ready to step up and deliver.”
  • A strategic approach will ensure the viability of the tourism industry
  • Tourists should make a greater contribution to protect Tasmania’s unique places
The Hodgman Liberal Government must be more strategic in managing growth in tourism to ensure the viability of the industry and Tasmania’s natural environment.
Labor Leader, Rebecca White, said anticipated growth in visitor numbers would place increasing pressure on Tasmania’s existing visitor services and our ageing tourism infrastructure.
 
“Tasmania’s reputation as a ‘must see’ visitor destination continues to gain global recognition and by 2020 our state can expect to welcome 1.5 million visitors."
 
“We need to ensure we are ready for this growth and Labor’s long-term Regional Tourism Strategy is a solid framework for the future."
 
“To that end, I would encourage the Government to adopt Labor’s policy to restructure entry fees to our iconic national parks and reserves to ensure the cost matches the true value of the experience."
 
“Labor wants to see visitors make a greater contribution to protect the things that make our state unique and special."
“This should include investigation of a tiered fee structure for our three most popular parks, with higher fees during times of peak demand, along with a reduction in the price of an annual entry pass for all Tasmanians."
 
“The proceeds should be reinvested to protect our biosecurity defences and upgrade visitor infrastructure.”

Public Sector Workers Shouldn’t Pay for Gutwein’s Failures

  • Premier Hodgman must force the Treasurer to abandon arrogant wage cap
  • Treasurer has failed to control reckless election spending 
  • Public sector workers deserve a fair pay rise

Labor Leader Rebecca White today called on the Premier show some leadership and overrule his arrogant Treasurer in today’s meeting with public sector unions.

“The Treasurer’s Revised Estimates Report is an example of the warped priorities of the Liberal Government,” Ms White said.

“Despite favorable economic conditions and increased revenue in recent years this Government has failed to fix the crisis in our hospitals and health system, plan for our future housing needs and still won’t pay Tasmanian public sector workers their fair share.

“The Liberals racked up billions in reckless election spending and now they claim the cupboard is bare. 

“It is time those who deliver essential services are given priority by this government.” 

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data also puts Hobart’s inflation rate at 3 per cent.* 

“That means the Treasurer is forcing public sector workers into taking an effective wage cut,” Ms White said.

“Tasmania’s teachers, nurses, paramedics, park rangers and child safety officers should not have to pay for the Treasurer’s failures.

“Premier Hodgman must come to the table in good faith and not put forward a ‘take it or leave it’ offer. He must negotiate. 

“Today the Premier must say enough is enough, and scrap the 2 per cent cap.”

*https://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/Documents/Consumer-Price-Index.pdf

  • Jaensch true to form again in unacceptably late release of data
  • Tasmanians right to be questioning what government has to hide
  • Affordability pressure continuing to climb

Important updates to Tasmanian housing statistics are yet again being kept under wraps by the Hodgman Liberal Government in the midst of the ongoing housing crisis.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the latest CoreLogic data showed average Hobart house prices have now overtaken Adelaide and Perth and a chronic undersupply of housing is placing increased pressure on renters.

Meanwhile the Government is keeping information about the true extent of the housing crisis hidden from Tasmanians.

The Government’s Human Services dashboard should have been updated before Christmas to reflect the September quarter but there is no sign of new information.

“What that means is that Tasmanians – and importantly those Tasmanians languishing on housing wait lists - can now only access housing statistics up to June 2018,” Ms White said.

“That information shows in June the average waiting time for priority housing applicants was 60 weeks and 3,216 Tasmanians were stuck on the housing waiting list but that information is now unacceptably out of date.

“Tasmanians are right to ask what the government and Housing Minister Roger Jaensch have got to hide?

“It’s crucial Tasmanians be given access to this data at a time when there is an on-going housing crisis.

“We’ve been down this path before with Mr Jaensch when the December 2017 quarter update was with-held during the March election campaign – and then released on Good Friday when the government hoped no-one was watching.

“It is extremely devious and unacceptable but typical of this Liberal Government’s dedication to secrecy.

“Mr Jaensch and the government clearly don’t want the extent of homelessness and the lack of housing availability to be known.

“It’s reasonable to question why updates to these important figures have not been delivered and I call on Mr Jaensch to provide an explanation today.”

  • New year brings a fresh opportunity for pay rise negotiations
  • It’s time the Liberal Government ditched its arrogant 2 per cent wage cap
  • Public sector workers deserve to be recognised for their hard work

With a new year comes a fresh opportunity for the Government to negotiate a pay increase for public sector workers that keeps up with the cost of living. 

Tasmania’s hard working teachers, nurses, paramedics, park rangers and child safety officers are among the thousands of committed public service workers who have been waiting more than a month for their pay rise due to the out of touch Liberal Government.

The new pay agreements were meant to start in people’s first pay after 1 December.

But, because of the Liberal Government refusing to scrap its wage cap and negotiate in good faith, Tasmanian workers, who are among the worst paid in the country, are now lagging further behind.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said it was beyond time that the Hodgman Government ditched its arrogant 2 per cent wage cap for Tasmanian public sector employees and negotiate pay deals to ensure the uncertainty did not continue long into 2019.

“If the Premier and the Treasurer continue to refuse to negotiate, they’re telling Tasmania’s hard working public servants that they don’t value or respect their work,” Ms White said.

“In a ‘golden age’, it’s only fair that workers are rewarded for all their hard work – not taken for granted.

“The Treasurer is too arrogant to back away from his unfair and unreasonable wage cap and the Premier is too weak to make him do it.

“Tasmania’s workforce – nurses, teachers and other hard working people – do not deserve to have their wages uncertainty drag on well into the new year.”

  • Did taxpayers foot the bill for Adam Brooks’ legal expenses?
  • Did Premier Hodgman ask Adam Brooks to resign over deception before election?
  • Brooks referred to powerful Privileges Committee

Important questions continue to dog the Hodgman Liberal Government over the Adam Brooks scandal with the Premier today refusing to address critical issues.

As Mr Brooks was today referred to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee over the Integrity Commission’s findings that he misled the Premier, the Parliament and all Tasmanians in his business email scandal, Labor Leader Rebecca White said Premier Hodgman needed to today come clean on several issues.

“The Premier has set an appalling example to all Tasmanians in this matter, condoning deeply deceptive behaviour and lying from his Ministers and Members of his government,” Ms White said.

“It’s unacceptable that Adam Brooks, in the wake of the Sarah Courtney scandal, has – despite what the Premier says – escaped any real consequences for his actions and remains in Parliament as the Member for Braddon with Premier Hodgman’s blessing.

“Following the release of the Integrity Commission report, Premier Hodgman has today been unwilling to answer pertinent questions.

“Was Premier Hodgman aware of the depth of Mr Brooks’ deception when he was endorsed as a Braddon candidate before the state election?

“At any time during the two-and-a-half year period this matter has been hanging over this government, did Mr Brooks offer to resign or did the Premier seek it?

“Importantly, considering the length of time involved in this investigation and the level of legal expertise required, how much has it cost taxpayers and did Mr Brooks at any time ask for taxpayers to meet the costs of any of his legal fees?

“These are vital questions the Premier must answer after declining to today on the floor of the Parliament.”

  • Great Tasmanian business up for sale after 160 years
  • Best of luck to Tim Reid and the whole team
 
Labor Leader Rebecca White has congratulated Reid Fruits on their enormous commitment to Tasmania over more than 160 years.
 
“Labor has enjoyed a long relationship with the company,” Ms White said.
 
“I wish Tim Reid and his wife Debra all the best for the sale process and thank them and the team for their huge contribution to Tasmania’s economy.
 
“Reid Fruits have helped put fresh Tasmanian produce on the world stage.
 
“The business has a proud and rich history and I’m confident that will continue under new owners.”
  • Government must respond to pressure on mental health services in our hospitals
  • Minister saw for himself the enormous pressure on staff
The Hodgman Government must explain what action it’s taking regarding mental health beds in Tasmania’s hospitals.
 
“The Health Minister saw the crisis for himself last night by visiting the emergency department at the Royal Hobart Hospital,” Labor Leader Rebecca White said.
 
“The Minister would have seen staff under severe pressure and realised the situation for mental health patients is inadequate.
 
“What has the Government done in response to a report by the Coroner last year highlighting the pressure on mental health services in our hospitals?
 
“What specific action has the Government taken?
 
“Labor is engaging in health crisis talks across the state over the next month because we are determined to find solutions.
 
“Tasmanians need a government that is willing to listen to staff and patients and respond accordingly.”
  • End of uncertainty welcomed by Labor
  • State Government must support all of our hospitals
  • Devil will be in long-term details of Liberal deal
Labor Leader Rebecca White has welcomed the end of uncertainty for staff and patients at the Mersey Hospital.
Labor will carefully examine the detail of the new funding deal.
“Until we understand exactly how much money will be available, after interest is factored in, we won't know how this deal will keep pace with the rising costs of healthcare,” Ms White said.
“A deal for the Mersey is certainly welcome but we need a State Government committed to providing appropriate funding and support for all of our hospitals.”
  • Treasurer keeping truth hidden from Tasmanians despite contempt threat
  • Health Minister responsible for beds crisis at Royal and Mersey funding fail
  • Hodgman overseeing crises but lacks the will to provide solutions
The Hodgman Liberal Government returns to the State Parliament this week with crises across numerous fronts but no genuine effort to find solutions.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said dishonesty, deception and disappointment had now been firmly established as hallmarks of Premier Will Hodgman’s government.
“The Premier, with the Treasurer, has been deeply deceptive in his effort to withhold a document outlining his government’s strategy to sell the Tamar Valley Power Station as Tasmania entered an energy crisis,” Ms White said.
“He cannot be allowed to keep claiming a letter between two of his Ministers about the sale of the power station is Cabinet in Confidence when it is not.
“The Health Minister has refused to listen to those who know best – the doctors and nurses at the coalface – and that has resulted in a beds crisis at the Royal Hobart Hospital which is now so serious and dangerous it needs to be examined before a Parliamentary Inquiry.
“Michael Ferguson has failed to lobby his colleagues in Canberra to get a deal for the Mersey which has rightly angered medical staff and the community.
“The child protection system remains in crisis and continues to fail on Jacquie Petrusma’s watch.
“On top of each of these crises, Mr Hodgman’s government cares so little about every day Tasmanian workers that it did not even provide a submission to Fair Work Australia to help save their penalty rates – and it continues to fail by not calling out the Turnbull Government.
“The government in all of its deception and dishonesty needs to be called out and Labor will continue to hold Mr Hodgman and his Ministers to account.”
 
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